Heritage designation referred back to staff for discussion with developer

It’s back to the drawing board for Parkview Homes.

After a marathon four and a half hour council meeting Peterborough city council decided to defer a decision on a “Heritage” designation on the Pig’s Ear and Blackhorse Pub.

The motion read “That both property designation be referred to staff so they can explore viable alternatives to heritage designation with the developer and return back to council.”

Councillor Andrew Beamer called the attempt to force a heritage designation on the owners of the¬†building “foul play” Beamer also asked others to look at the designation from the perspective of the current owners of the building. The owner of the Pig’s Ear spoke against the designation. Other speakers told council the owner of the Blackhorse does not support the designation for his building either. Beamer said”these are small business owners, they don’t have pensions, this is there pension.”

The move is very reminiscent of a similar situation faced by council in 2009. An article in the Peterborough Examiner from September 9, 2009 says council put a hold on creating a potential list of properties of heritage value or interest so the city could notify residents who would be effected.

 Ann Farquharson who was a councillor at the time event went so far as to say council would be infringing on the rights of property owners if they were put on a heritage list. She asked council to delay the creation of the registry.

Fast forward to today and some members of council did not see it as infringing on the rights of property owners.

Councillor Baldwin said he supported Heritage designation. Others such as Lesley Parnell called it a hostile heritage designation and would not support it.

Jeff Ayotte, Lawyer for Parkview Homes said “The difficulty is, perhaps in a perfect world a developer came and said I would make this into a boutique hotel hotel with a pub, but there isn’t one coming forward. The danger is you end up with a heritage building that’s empty, it’s derelict” According to the developer it would be too expensive to keep the facade and bring it up to todays standards and building code.

The vote by council effectively gives Parkview homes the green light to demolish the buildings but gives council more control over what is built in place of them and what the new buildings will look like.