Town too late to review “heritage” status?

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by Vance Gutzman

Time’s up.

That was the message delivered to Deep River council recently by the owners of King’s Farm.

As previously reported, the couple wrote Deep River council in November providing the town with notice as per the Heritage Act that they wish to demolish a collapsing barn on the “Heritage Property,” which was a stopping place during the lumbering era.

The letter came after the town denied their request for a demolition permit due to the rules inherent in the Heritage Act.

The couple subsequently notified the town they want the heritage designation removed from the property, which they purchased in September.

The 10 buildings on the 13-acre property received their heritage designation from town council back in 1984, following a recommendation from the town’s Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee (LACAC).

However, the only way for the town to repeal or amend that 1983 bylaw, under auspices of the Heritage Act, would be to establish a municipal heritage committee for consultation on the matter, and council did just that at the beginning of February.

“I understand they’re doing their tasks,” Vic Saif, who owns the property along with his wife Lisa Saif, told council of the heritage committee.

That aside, Saif went on to tell council that the rules surrounding the provincial Heritage Act in the matter are quite explicit – the town had 90 days from the beginning of December to either refuse, accept or ask for an extension of the couple’s request.

“To date we have not received any word in any of these forms,” Saif said.

“Within 90 days, if no response is received, then council is deemed to have accepted.”

This week, council heard the same message from the heritage committee itself.

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