Neguac gardener fights to keep greenhouses built without a permit

Paul Albert is fighting a legal battle with the village of Neguac and the Acadian Peninsula's Regional Service Commission (CRSPA) to keep his greenhouses where he built them.

Village of Neguac is hoping to work with Paul Albert to resolve issue

Paul Albert picks corn from his garden to sell at his roadside stand, something he feels he has a right to do without following any village bylaws. (Gail Harding/CBC)

Paul Albert's roadside garden stand is a popular spot in the village of Neguac. 

For the past four years, people have stopped to purchase the fresh vegetables he grows in his greenhouses and the large gardens located nearby on property owned by his father, Edgar Albert. 

This week, many more are stopping to sign a petition he plans to present to village council asking them to stop their fight against him and his father and rescind the motion made to pursue legal action against him. 

The legal stalemate with the village and the Acadian Peninsula's Regional Service Commission (CRSPA) involves a few issues. 

The first is over greenhouses that he built without a permit. There is also an issue with their location, behind an NB Power sub station and on the easement for a transmission line. 

Needs rezoning

The village and CRSPA had advised Albert he can't grow and sell his vegetables unless he has the property rezoned.

They also want the greenhouses moved off the easement and onto his father's property.

"I applied for a permit but they denied it so I built the greenhouses anyway," said Albert who has strong beliefs over what people should be permitted to do on their own property.

Paul Albert built two greenhouses without a permit four years ago to grow vegetables to sell at a roadside stand. He has been ordered to move the buildings. (Gail Harding/CBC)

Albert was charged over having no permit and has been to court three times since November 2016 over the issue. The proceedings were adjourned so the two sides could negotiate and find a solution. 

Albert said he applied to have the property rezoned as a mixed zone, meaning it could be used for residential and agriculture. 

But he said the CRSPA asked him to have rezoned as an integrated zone, meaning he'd have to make up plans for the property's long term use and couldn't change them. 

"Every time I went they wanted me to do something new. I'm not going to jump through a bunch of hoops for them." 

Back to court

Paul Albert says he isn't going to give up his fight to keep his greenhouses where he built them and hopes a petition signed by many local residents will help. (Gail Harding/CBC)

Marcel Brideau, Neguac's new executive administration officer, told CBC News they want to work with Albert. 

"There's nothing wrong with a greenhouse in the community, it's a good thing. It just has to be done right." 

Brideau said village council and village staff want to work with Albert but "we'd like to see him go with the conformities and we'll help him." 

"The ball is in his court." 

Albert is scheduled to return to court in January 2018 and said he will continue to fight for what he believes — that no one has the right to tell him what he can or can't do on the property.

About the Author

Gail Harding

Web Writer

Gail Harding began her career as a journalist in the newspaper industry before joining CBC as a web writer.