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From looking at the new development at the corner of Richmond and West streets in Charlottetown, a person could assume either that there are no bylaws (building codes) concerning elevation and run-off, or they are not being enforced.
One of the neighbouring properties is owned by the City of Charlottetown, so surely we should expect this land to be protected from run-off resulting from bringing in loads of shale to an elevation of the building lot in question to a much higher level than the street and adjacent properties. Historic West Street now looks like a deadend street.
As important as building codes that relate to elevation are the streetscapes that share at least equal importance when building/infill occurs in an historic part of the city. So, since this development is progressing, one can assume that:
(1) Either there is no heritage bylaw that considers the historic aspect of our heritage streets or, (2) Such a law is not being enforced on one of the most attractive and historic streets in Charlottetown.
If neither aspects — elevation and heritage — are addressed in our current bylaws to prevent such an attack on our historic streets, I suggest our city council develop such policies. After all, we are still trying to create a memorable visitor experience, in which, we have long believed, the historic buildings and water settings are an important factor.
If indeed we have laws on the books regarding this situation, one can only urge that full attention on the part of the city be applied to make sure these laws are being adhered to in every respect.
Also, property values will no doubt drop due to the lack of vision of previous decision makers/councillors, who allowed this abomination to be possible in the first place. As a result, the residents of West and Richmond streets who are affected by this should not be denied a reduction in their property taxes, should they choose to to apply.
Kirsten Connor (former chair, City of Charlottetown Heritage Review Board),