I really thought this issue would drift into fall before a hearing date was set. Instead the challenge to the town’s Cookstown Heritage Conservation District bylaw will be heard by the OMB in the Town’s Council Chamber on August 7 beginning at 10:30 a.m. OMB hearings are public and residents can attend.
The Innisfil Journal reports that the appeal is being made by a group calling itself the South Simcoe Civil Liberties Association. They claim a membership of about 100 residents and business owners, and also claim that 70% of Cookstown residents don’t want a Heritage Conservation District designated in Cookstown.
I’m not sure if “property rights” will form the basis of their objection but the name of the group suggests it. I guess it’s logical that a group of residents challenging the legitimacy of an elected Council wants an unelected Board to decide the fate of Cookstown.
Although the hearing comes well before the civic election, Councillor Dollin is right in saying that it will still be an election issue. Ultimately, residents will have a final say by whom they choose to speak for them.
Strong opinions have been expressed on both sides so I will hold comment until after the OMB decision.
More information: Cookstown Heritage Conservation District
Cookstown’s Heritage District Going to OMB Appeal
Cookstown: If not Heritage Conservation, then what?
Cookstown Heritage District – for the Greater Good
Carrots vs. Prods to Preserve Cookstown’s Character
Cookstown Community Improvement Plan, Oct. 8