Again at the Feb. 20 council meeting Mayor Fenik took the opposite stance of the rest of council and voted, in a recorded vote, against the recommendation of Notice of Intent to amend the Heritage Conservation District bylaw.
“This absolutely erodes the protection of our downtown core. With all due respect, I won’t support it, ” he said, adding that he believes it weakens the look, heritage aspect and being of Perth.
Despite the mayor’s objections, five councillors voted in favour of an official notice of intent to modify the Heritage Conservation District bylaw. The issue will move forward.
Council was assured (on Feb. 6) that this was just the beginning of a long process and should they want to change the bylaw again, they could. In the meantime each downtown business owner has to be informed and the process registered with the Ontario Heritage Trust.
Amending the bylaw would allow business owners to paint the facades of their stores any colour they like. The amendment would keep the heritage palette of colours as a recommendation only, but would not be mandatory.
The amendment came about in response to a challenge by Shadowfax, a downtown store, painted in vivid purple, green and orange.
Shannon Baillon, director of community services, said the process could take anywhere from two to three months.