City needs information
As a member of the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation and someone who has been quite involved with an Island museum, I am pleased to learn from the Dec. 29 issue of The Guardian that the demolition order placed on the Holman Homestead by the City of Summerside has been rescinded. However, some of the statements attributed in The Guardian article to Mayor Bill Martin are both puzzling and disturbing.
Mayor Martin is quoted as stating that: “It’s not the city’s role to protect the property. The city basically follows all our bylaws, processes and procedures.” The mayor is also reported to have stated his belief that designating a historic property is not something the city can do and that such can be done only by the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation. It would seem that the mayor needs to improve his understanding of these matters and brush up on the City’s Bylaw SS-20.
Bylaw SS-20 is all about designating heritage buildings, and although the bylaw has few or no teeth, it does, or should, afford some degree of protection. The Holman property was designated a heritage property by the city under Bylaw SS-20 on March 15, 2010. The bylaw provides for removal of a heritage designation “subject to public notice and a public meeting” (Section 4.9). For a demolition order to have been issued by the city, one would presume a prior step would have been the removal of the heritage designation – otherwise the city would be in flagrant violation of both the provisions and the spirit of the bylaw. Perhaps Mayor Martin can inform the public about how public notice was given and on what date a public meeting was held with respect to removal of the heritage designation? Earle Lockerby, Sandford, Ont.