Council opposes building’s heritage designation

Stephen Brun
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KENSINGTON – The efforts of the provincial government to designate a Kensington landmark as a heritage building have been opposed by the town’s council.

The province has proposed that the Government of Canada building on Victoria Street West in Kensington, the home of the town’s post office, be designated as a heritage place. Council is opposing to the move because of restrictions that come along with the designation.

Earlier this year, the Tourism and Culture Department notified town officials that it intends to designate the Government of Canada building on Victoria Street West, which is the home of Kensington’s post office.

In September, council asked CAO Geoff Baker to draft a notice of objection to the proposal.

Baker said the heritage designation could impose restrictions aimed at protecting the character of the building, which could present future problems given the post office’s placement at Kensington’s main intersection.

“We, at this point in time, don’t feel it’s appropriate to restrict that building, primarily because of its proximity to the intersection,” he said.

“There might be a necessity at some time in the future to modify the intersection (or) improve the safety of the intersection. We felt it wasn’t prudent to restrict what could be done with the property.”

The Government of Canada building was constructed in 1954, and is noted on the province’s historic places website for its asymmetrical shape, brickwork, and cube-shaped clock.

The post office is owned by the federal government, but Baker doesn’t believe P.E.I.’s heritage places protection board has to clear the designation with the feds.

It’s listed on the province’s website as a “registered heritage place,” meaning it’s not subject to the restrictions that concerned council.

The town filed its objection by the September deadline, but Baker noted that the heritage board could still decide designating the building is appropriate without the support of Kensington council.

“My understanding is… the heritage places board (will) deliberate on any objections they’ve received to make a recommendation to the (Culture) minister as to whether it should be designated or not at this point in time,” said Baker. “The town obviously doesn’t own the building; we just don’t feel at this time that it’s appropriate to restrict what could or could not be done to the property.”

sbrun@journalpioneer.com

 

Organizations: Tourism and Culture Department, Kensington council

Geographic location: Canada, Kensington

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  • Bs
    November 16, 2012 - 08:17

    Why is there concern over safety at this intersection? Its controlled by traffic lights and I dont think there's ever been an accident there. I believe the opposition by K'town council to designate this building as a heritage building is CODE in case they want to have it torn down and replaced by some low budget development. If council had any vision they might consider purchasing this building and using it for a town hall to replace the what they have. Any concerns about traffic safety in Kensington could be addressed with a BYPASS.

  • BE
    November 15, 2012 - 10:39

    Read it again BS, note the part about the intersection, and council's concern with that, see it there? five paragraphs down, one two, three, four, five,..thats right, there ya go..

  • bs
    November 14, 2012 - 19:55

    Of course. This is a historic and stately old building should be torn down and replaced with a cheap little wood frame donut shop. Just kidding, but some ridiculous idea like this is what K'town council probably have in mind. Get real.