Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Editorial: Home improvement
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 3 Mar 2006, p. 6

Full Text

There is much to be said about keeping government out of an individual's personal affairs and also about the lack of respect many have for history. But, there is also a valid argument to the point that an individual's right to raise a fist stops at another person's nose. Consider the case on today's front page. The Town of Halton Hills last week ordered the demolition of a home at 52 Confederation Street. The owner, Mert Veldhoen, was irate the Town took this action, saying they had dealt unfairly with him, that he intended to rebuild the home and that the Town had "no clue what they wanted." On the other hand, the Town argued the home, built in 1843, was in a terrible state of disrepair, that the owner had been charged and convicted five years ago of carrying out "all sorts of construction without permits" and that the Town had extended deadlines numerous times for the owner to fix the property. While some neighbours called it an "extreme act of vandalism" by the Town, we disagree. Simply being a property owner does not-- and should not-- give a person carte blanche to allow their property to become derelict and a danger to the general public. In this case this home was only steps from a general store where many children visit. In its most recent state it also likely attracted a variety of vermin that next-door neighbours should not have had to deal with. Also, why should those neighbours endure diminished property values, simply because one homeowner opted not to follow proper building codes and procedures? The historic photo on page one shows a stately home unquestionably worth preserving. Unfortunately, the one that came down last week was little more than rat-trap, left to ruin by an owner who is solely to blame for the home's demolition.

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3 Mar 2006
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Veldhoen, Mert
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Editorial: Home improvement