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County to study potential for Heritage Conservation District

Prince Edward County is studying the potential for designating areas in downtown Picton as a Heritage Conservation District. “This is the first step in gauging public support and reviewing the merits of a Heritage Conservation District in Picton,” said Mayor Peter Mertens. “The study itself will not result in a heritage district being created, but will give us the information we need to decide if we wish to allocate resources to prepare a District Plan.”

The study area contains 191 properties beginning at the corner of Lake Street, moving east along Picton Main Street, down the town hill, along Bridge Street to the Claramount Inn and along Union Street to Macaulay Heritage Park. The Regent Theatre, the Royal Hotel, the Claramount Inn, the Picton Court House and the Macaulay Heritage Park are included.
The study is to begin this month with expected completion in April 2012.

Public input includes the first public meeting Feb. 13 from 7-9 p.m. in the Picton Town Hall and a survey that can be completed online at http://www.pecounty.on.ca/government/planning_services/phc_study.php

“This study contributes to our commitment to heritage conservation and the economic vitality of our community,” said Mertens.
He notes the benefits of Heritage District designations in other municipalities have been shown to be:
• Conservation and enhancement of a place’s unique character
• Increased cultural/historical tourism
• Attraction and retention of stable businesses
• Property values which are more resilient to economic downturn
Public input will be welcome. Three public meetings will be held at various points in the study process. A survey will be mailed to all property owners and commercial renters in the study area and the survey as well as other information related to the study will be posted on the County website.

ERA Architects Inc., specialists in heritage conservation, will be conducting the study, supported by a Community Advisory Panel made up of diverse stakeholders with a range of interests, including municipal councillors, local business owners and heritage professionals.

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