The motion at Thursday’s Built Heritage Sub-Committee was a bit wordy: “That the Built Heritage Sub-Committee recommend that Planning Committee recommend that Council refuse the application to demolish the Bradley/Craig Barn, 590 Hazeldean Road.”
But after over two hours of public presentations and debate, the decision was clear: the committee voted 4-2 to support the motion, refusing the application to demolish the Bradley-Craig barn and move it to Munster.
That doesn’t mean the farmstead is “saved”. Far from it. It still has to be reviewed at Planning Committee and then City Council late in January.
There were quite a few Bradley-Craig supporters on hand for Thursday’s meeting, including representatives from Heritage Ottawa, the Goulbourn Historical Society, and the Goulbourn Museum. I made a brief presentation opposing the demolition as well.
Lesley Collins from the city’s heritage department pointed out that the proposal to move the barn would go against the Heritage Act, the Official Plan, and provincial policy.
Mark Saunders from Saunders Farm made a short but passionate presentation about his family’s commitment to heritage conservation. He even had to stop at one point when he became overwhelmed by emotion.
A delegation from Richcraft (Kevin Yemm, Miguel Tremblay from Fotenn, John Stewart from Commonwealth Resource Management) argued that the barn would be out of context in a commercial development, and would be difficult to incorporate into a retail format. They said that the Saunders Farm option was more sustainable than keeping it on Hazeldean Road.
Committee members repeatedly asked Yemm if Richcraft had done any feasibility studies to determine suitable adaptive uses for the barn, but they weren’t satisfied with his answers. He did offer that Richcraft would be happy to pay homage to architectural details from the farm in a future retail development, such as the roofline or the triangle windows.
None of the committee members asked Richcraft two important questions: How much would it cost to move the barn? How much would it cost to renovate it?
Also: The motion to add heritage designation to the Flewellyn-Jones House on Fernbank was deferred to the January committee meeting, at the request of the owner.
ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARING STATIONS
Ontario announced today that they’re handing out $20-million in grants to create a larger network of electric car charging stations.
There’s a chicken-or-egg problem at play here: you need convenient charging stations to convince more people to drive electric vehicles, but there aren’t quite enough cars on the road yet to justify a huge investment by the private sector or by the City.
Case in point: There are charging stations behind the Goulbourn Recreation Centre that the city installed and operates. Between January 1, 2014 and July 31, 2015, a total of only two – yes, two – vehicles used the facility. That’s according to Phil Landry, the city’s acting general manager of Public Works.