City files injunction against homeowner to stop demolition
'He just hasn't followed by the rules'
The City of Charlottetown has sought an injunction to stop a homeowner from causing further damage to a heritage property.
The home is thought to be from the 1840s and because it is deemed a heritage resource, it comes with many rules.
"Mr. Campbell had it in his mind at one point that he just wanted to demolish this building, but again there's a process to follow. It's all outlined in the bylaws and he has to get a demolition permit," said Greg Rivard, the city's chair of planning and heritage.
The home's owner Ray Campbell said the rules prevent him from doing anything with the property, so he began tearing it down without a permit.
Campbell said making it livable would be too expensive and he can't get insurance, despite an engineer's report saying it was structurally sound.
Rivard said city staff told Campbell the steps he needed to take before he could demolish the home, and said staff warned Campbell of the penalties of going ahead without permission.
"Because the house is a heritage resource with the city he has to first make application to the planning department to have this de-listed and that was never done, so this has never ever got to council," Rivard said.
The city's heritage bylaws state anyone who violates its provisions could be fined up to $20,000.
Rivard said the decision of whether or not Campbell will be fined and by how much is now up to the courts.
But Campbell will still have to apply to de-list the property as heritage before any further work can be done.
"To say that his hands are tied and that we forced him into the situation — we've done nothing, he just hasn't followed by the rules."
Can it be saved?
Rivard said it's still unclear what will happen to the building. The city will need to assess whether it can be saved after the damage that's been done.
"We're going to probably have to send in building inspectors and maybe have another engineer go take a look to see what kind of structural damage there is and if it can be saved."
City staff were in court today where a judge issued a stop-work order, to cease any further demolition for the next 10 days. If the issue isn't resolved in that time, Campbell and the city will be in court to discuss extending the order.
The stop-work order also said Campbell has to secure the building and protect all pieces he removed from further damage.
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With files from Brittany Spencer