Local Charity Set to Fight for Private Property Rights in Picton
Town Trying to Designate 142 buildings "heritage" properties, including 3 gas stations, two empty lots and a McDonald's
(Picton June 16) On Tuesday June 17, the Canadian Constitution Foundation will attend an Ontario Municipal Board hearing to battle for private property rights.
Picton property owners, including a charity called the Naval Marine Archive, oppose a bylaw the Prince Edward County Municipal Council passed last year to designate seven blocks of a downtown street as a “Heritage Conservative District.” One hundred and forty-two buildings fall under the designation, including two modern supermarkets, three gas stations, two empty lots and a McDonald's.
The designation prevents property owners from making major or minor alterations (including painting) to the exterior of their property without the permission of a group of officials known as the “Municipal Heritage Committee”.
The CCF says the merchants and charities are battling for their private property rights.
“Municipalities seem to have the goal of putting property owners into straitjackets, so they can’t do anything without a bureaucrat’s approval,” said Karen Selick, the CCF’s litigation director. “To me, this is not part of the County’s heritage of liberty.”
Selick argues the real heritage of Prince Edward County is the right of property owners to control their property, free from undue interference and red tape.
The Ontario Municipal Board hearing will convene at Shire Hall, 332 Picton Main Street, at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. Members of the public may attend to observe the proceedings.
Karen Selick and Paul Adamthwaite, executive director of the Naval Marine Archive, will greet spectators and provide information outside Shire Hall from 10:00 a.m.