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Summerside tables motion against derelict buildings for another month

The former Holland College building on Granville Street in Summerside.
At different times over the years, this fenced-off building by Granville Street in Summerside has housed Athena School, Centennial Pool and Holland College. - SaltWire file photo
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. —

A motion that would potentially see two derelict buildings demolished, including the fenced-off building by Granville Street, has been tabled for another month.

The decision was made during Summerside's monthly council meeting at the city hall on June 15. Coun. Cory Snow, who originally put the motion forward last month, started the meeting off by requesting it be removed from that evening's agenda.

"Since last month's motion was tabled, we've had some promising discussions with both property owners," he said.

Cory Snow
Cory Snow

 

In a follow-up interview with The Guardian, Snow said that because these discussions are ongoing and because proposals were received for alternative ways to move forward with the buildings, he felt it prudent to see what might come of them.

"And, hopefully, it improves the situation and we have a positive resolution going forward," he said.

The motion was to impose the city's dangerous, hazardous and unsightly premises bylaw against the former Centennial Pool building, located along Granville Street, as well as against the former Summer Street Barz building on First Street.

This building on Granville Street in Summerside once housed Holland College, Centennial Pool and Athena School but has sat vacant for more than a decade.
This building on Granville Street in Summerside once housed Holland College, Centennial Pool and Athena School but has sat vacant for more than a decade.

 

Council has been imposing the bylaw on a few Summerside properties recently, such as on Chestnut Avenue. It's to prevent premises from becoming a danger to the public, as well as to protect the property value of the area and the general appearance of Summerside.

According to the city's resolution, the buildings in question have not been in compliance with the bylaw for several years. If approved, the property owners would have 30 days to bring their properties into compliance. If unable to dp so, a city inspector would enforce the bylaw as necessary "up to and including demolition of the building(s)".


NEED TO KNOW

  • The former Centennial Pool building, located on a 14-acre property by Granville Street, has been subject to vandalism and squatting in the past. 
  • A fence was erected around it, but , that didn't stop someone from getting into it in Aug. 2019 and starting a fire.
  • Coun. Cory Snow said during council's May 19 meeting that there have been no improvements made despite multiple meetings with the owner. Council tabled his motion to take action until its June meeting.
  • Tim Banks, the property's owner of 12 years, is currently working on a major housing development in the Charlottetown area.

At council's May meeting, Snow was firm in wanting to take a strong stance against these buildings rather than push the issue off any longer.

However, because of the nature of his and council's discussions with both owners, he now feels fine about waiting a bit longer, he said.

"In light of the information coming forward, I think it's appropriate to hold off," he said, "in fairness to the process."

Snow recognized that this process may have already played a role in pushing off the issue over the years, but that's why keeping the motion on the table is a good option so that it's not forgotten. He feels positive that good will come of the discussions, he said.

"We are very serious about rectifying this issue one way or another."

The motion will be reassessed during council's July meeting.


Twitter.com/dnlbrown95

Daniel Brown is a local journalism initiative reporter, a position funded by the federal government.

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