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Deconstruction started on Cumberland Street building

by Robert Hirtle


Workers began the deconstruction of 164 Cumberland Street March 3.
 LUNENBURG - A deteriorating century-old building whose proposed demolition created a serious rift among some members of the Lunenburg community for over a year is finally coming down.

 Earl and Brenda Bachman purchased the property, located at 164 Cumberland Street, in the summer of 2009, then applied to the town's heritage advisory committee (HAC) for a certificate of appropriateness to tear the structure down.

 The building, which lies in the town's heritage district and abuts the back of the Bachmans' residential property, had been used in a variety of capacities over the years including a store, a church and a dwelling, but had fallen into disrepair and the couple wished to remove it to create more space in their backyard.

 Their application, which was rejected by the HAC and referred to council for consideration, created a chain reaction of events that led to council's approval of the request following a heated public hearing, then to two separate appeals of that decision to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NSURB), one by the HAC and the other by resident Peter Greer.

 In November of last year, the NSURB announced that it was rejecting both appeals, Mr. Greer's as he was deemed not to be an "aggrieved person," and the HAC's on six points which ultimately may have a long-standing effect on the province's Heritage Property Act.

 Perhaps the most interesting of those items was the board's conclusion that, under the act and the town's conservation bylaw, demolition decisions are to be made by elected municipal officials "and not made by unelected officials such as planning officers or members of a heritage advisory committee or heritage society."

 While the board's decision was appealable to the Supreme Court, no such action was taken and the result stood.

 Mr. Bachman said at the time he and his wife were pleased with the decision and were looking to begin deconstruction of the building in the spring.

 That action commenced March 3.



posted on 03/08/11
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