Petrolia Mayor John McCharles says a property standard’s committee could help make the downtown “picture perfect.”
McCharles recently told a group of people gathered to try to keep tourists in town after visiting Victoria Playhouse that he and town staff are investigating setting up a committee.
“One of our biggest concerns and what certainly bugs me is certain storefronts continue to look the way they do.”
There are several empty storefronts on Petrolia Line, some of which have been vacant for some time, which McCharles says do not present the best image of the town.
Right now, administrators can only talk to the owners about the problem but there is little else which can be done. “We called one store recently which closed (and covered the windows with cardboard),” says CAO Manny Baron, adding he was asked to remove it. “The answer was a big fat no.”
McCharles believes a property standards committee could help in a situation like that. “With any property standards committee, there will have to be a bylaw to have some clout,” says McCharles. “If we had a property standards committee we could send our complaints there.”
McCharles says the idea now is to have a committee, similar to the committee of adjustment, which would have citizen involvement. The mayor hopes to bring the issue to council soon to help improve the look of Petrolia’s downtown.
“We want our town to be as picture perfect as possible.”
Denise Thibeault, the chair of the Volunteer Business Group, welcomed the idea. The VBG has long been concerned about the disrepair of some of the storefronts. “This would be a great step in the right direction if we could say this is the standard and enforce it.”