0

Golden Gates Residents: Why Are Businesses Being Allowed?

By FARRAH JOHNSON

SOME Golden Gates residents are protesting alleged zoning law violations they claim have allowed street vendors and commercial businesses to operate in the single-family residential area.

Lead organiser, resident Carol McDonald told The Tribune the community is frustrated about the number of buildings that have been constructed in the area for commercial use.

“Everybody who has a conveyance document for this subdivision (knows) it will say you cannot build anything other than a single-family residence, and if you do intend to do so, you have to go to the residents and get their permission. Nobody comes to us,” she said.

“There are about four vacant lots on this stretch because a lot of people who bought them didn’t want to build single-family residences, so they eventually sold them. What is happening now is people are buying them and trying to turn them into commercial spaces,” she explained.

Ms McDonald said in August she approached Senator Ranard Henfield who she said told her she needed ten signatures to start a petition.

After collecting support from 32 of her neighbours, Ms McDonald said she returned to Mr Henfield, who took their complaint to the board of the Ministry of Works.

Ms McDonald explained that initially, the board members said they were unaware of any buildings being constructed in the residential area; however, she said they have now been informed that the government owns a building in question.

Ms McDonald said the situation is escalating rapidly, because construction is currently underway for a building that will host a liquor store, along with a restaurant or clothing shop.

She added the foundation for a clinic has already been laid on the street next to her home.

“We don’t want that because we don’t want any stray people through our corners or through our neighbourhood. (So) we need to know what is going there, (and) who’s doing it (and) why, because we need it stopped,” she said.

The petition is also calling for the “permanent relocation” of street vendors who pose a major inconvenience to homeowners in the area.

“We have a problem with the fact that you can hardly get in your driveway some days (because) people are all over the place, (plus) it’s a traffic congestion zone,” said Ms McDonald.

She added many residents have been battling with “rude” vendors who curse at them or tell them they can do whatever they please because they have permits.

“We have some who are here every week...they just set up and every day they come, or every weekend they come. If that’s not bad enough, sometimes you have the fish and conch vendors who join in,” she said.

“The police, sometimes they would come and they would say ‘Okay you can’t set up the stall directly in the front of this person’s house,’ if we file a complaint with them, but we do it so much that it’s exhausting,” she said.

She said the police have advised residents to contact the Parks and Beaches Division of the Ministry of Works, but said when they do call, they find it “challenging” to speak to someone.

“What they said at town planning was that they re-zoned the area so people could do whatever they want to do – that doesn’t sit well with me because legally I don’t think you should be able to re-zone a strictly residential area for commercial (use) without first speaking to someone.”

In response to the petition, Works Minister Desmond Bannister said there is a “process in the law” that must be taken into consideration when dealing with such matters.

Speaking to The Tribune, he said that if someone “applies for something” and receives a work permit and another person finds an issue with it, there is an important procedure to follow.

“People can come through the media and put together whatever they want (but) it doesn’t work like that. And we have to tell Bahamians that the proper process is to follow the process through the Ministry of Works,” he said.

Comments

ohdrap4 3 years, 4 months ago

Easy. There is no legal recourse for residents. If they started some kind of legal action, it would cost hundreds of thousands in legal fees and stretch ten years or more.

Your neighbourhood is not the first to suffer in this manner. Look at what happened in Shirlea, Montagu Heights, etc...

I am sure others will produce more examples.

1

ThisIsOurs 3 years, 4 months ago

What about all the people on the side of Carmichael road? Carmichael has tons of empty property. Create a proper market.

1

BONEFISH 3 years, 4 months ago

This has happened in a number of residential areas on this island of New Providence.Parts of Centreville and Palmdale are an example of this.Lack of enforcement and consideration of zoning regulations.

1

carmichaelrdgal 3 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, We have laws but enforcement very slack

0

carmichaelrdgal 3 years, 4 months ago

I Agreed, we make complaints but who listens. Example, just adding to some of the issues we are now suffering from, example the noise of a loud disturbing generator running basically all day & night across the road from my home. If If you can buy gasoline to run that engine like that then you can pay your light bill. That's why a lot of citizens are leaving this country too.It's hard & sad to think life cannot be better!

0

Sign in to comment