A resident’s submission.
• The Mayor and the City have admitted there was misinformation and numerous mistakes made regarding the Wilson Farmhouse.
• Why should the citizens of Northern Heights and the rest of the City have to suffer the loss of 10% of our whole block park. 10% of prime park land that we have been accessing and appreciating since we moved in. 10% that was dedicated.
• Take rezoning, sale and severance off the agenda. Selling parkland, especially 10% of a whole block park, has never been done before. This would set an unsavory precedent. Imagine selling 10% of Exhibition Park?
• In the beginning (12+ years ago), the City and Heritage had their chance to implement proper planning procedures as per the Official Plan. Both Hanlon Farmhouses in South Guelph are on 4+ acres of preserved heritage landscape including barns and many mature trees. The City and Heritage have failed to implement many official plan policies.
• Decimating the 108 acre farmstead to 1/3 acres is a major mistake, especially since the entire front yard with majestic trees and heritage barn has vanished. Why didn’t the City and Heritage prevent this? It is clearly outlined in the official plan. Guelph Official Plan 3.5.2: “This plan promotes the design of development proposals in a manner that preserves and enhances the context in which cultural heritage resources are situated.”
• This simply was not done—this is only one of many ignored policies.
• Also consider page 26 of Heritage Property Evaluation: “Cultural heritage value or interest may be intertwined with location or an association with another structure(s) or environment. If these have been removed, the integrity of the property may be seriously diminished. Similarly, removal of historically significant materials (i.e. chimneys, fireplaces, back vestibule and workshop, entire interior or entire reworking of the original craftsmanship would warrant an assessment of the integrity (i.e. modern addition).”
• The Wilson Farmhouse was a part of a landmark farmstead of 108 acres with mature trees, barns, and in close proximity to two other Wilson farmhouses. It is now on 1/3 acre of original land. This has negated three contextual criteria that in turn negated criteria yields information on 19th century farming culture. This is significant erosion of heritage intergrity.
• Councilor Findlay: do you not realize that the staff and mayor have considered facts like these in 200+ pages of documentation that was presented to them.
• Why are you and other pro-severance councilors not supporting the mayor? Have you and the other councilors read our documentation?
• Why did you present the idea of a multi-use REEP house again when it was considered on two other separate occasions? Please:
a) Have you consulted the residents of Northern Heights community as required by the Official Plan Page 135, Section 3.
b) Where is the parking lot area for this multi-use facility?
c) Perimeter parking around a block park is not permitted anywhere else in Guelph. Wilson Park has a major sportsfield–will not allow for extra parking.
d) Will wind turbines and solar panels further degrade the very limited remaining heritage features of this sad old house?
e) $500,000 co-sign from the City after the soccer dome?
• The staff, mayor and informed councilors have endorsed and voted for demolition: How do you justify your position?
• How do you justify your position? ML