I attended the two Heritage Conservation District (HCD) related meetings Thursday night (at the MVTM and Civitan). I thought the speaker Andrew Jeanes’ presentations to be well done and informative.
As background, I own two properties on the island, and another on Bridge St that is outside of the proposed HCD area but probably should be in it.
Firstly I would say I’m not a 100% in favour of the HCD moratorium, but understand that it is a “necessary evil”. Why? This summer, Jeff Cavanagh published a public letter basically saying he is following the letter of the law and proceeding with the project as is — and he sic’ed his lawyer on our council. His Enerdu spokesman Ron Campbell publicly stated that construction would likely start this fall (that information suddenly changed mid-September after the building permit was denied by the town). I had also implored one councillor to contact Jeff Cavanagh and get a solid commitment to not proceed with permits and construction until the HCD study is complete and the town decides one way or the other, thus making the moratorium unnecessary. There were no such assurances granted. Given all of these pre-conditions that existed over the summer — I fully supported the imposition of the moratorium, realizing that it will be a major inconvenience to myself and many others. And I still do.
So, as a landowner of multiple heritage properties – I can live with the HCD moratorium and do not support repealing it. The 3 dozen or so vocal opposing persons at the Civitan last night seemed to be mostly from Coleman Island, but do not represent me or my concerns in any way.
I also didn’t get the sense there was wide attendance at that meeting by property owners from other parts of the HCD area – perhaps they are not concerned? All of that is anecdotal evidence of course – perhaps the sign in sheet would clarify that for Council. It should also be noted that there did not appear to be any concerns raised at the Chamber of Commerce meeting at the MVTM meeting earlier last night.
I do have one suggestion for the near future consideration: If the consultants do propose a reduced size HCD area, perhaps council can quickly modify the moratorium bylaw to apply only to the smaller area (if that is not automatic).
Further ahead, I am looking forward to having my properties being inside of a HCD area in the future, if it proceeds in that manner. I would like to thank all of you and town staff for the efforts in making it happen.