Charles Street property will stand until September

Court grants stay of proceedings to Wells

Darrell Cole webcomments@ngnews.ca
Published on July 11, 2014
A final decision on the fate of a vacant house on Charles Street won't be determined until September.
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A final decision on the fate of a vacant house on Charles Street won't be determined until September.

AMHERST – It will be September at the earliest before any decision is made on the future of a Charles Street property slated for demolition.

During a brief proceeding on Thursday, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court issued a stay of proceedings prohibiting the Town of Amherst from taking any action on its demolition order for the property at 12 and 14 Charles St.

A hearing will be held on Sept. 18 at 9:30 a.m.

“As a general rule, an interim stay of proceedings is only issued where the primary case is not frivolous,” said Jim O'Neil, the lawyer for property owner Walter Wells. “Certainly, my client was quite relieved that the town consented to the interim stay.

“The Sept. 18 hearing will be decided only on a judicial review of the evidence available to town council as no new evidence will be tendered. The legal issue to be determined is whether the town had the legal jurisdiction to issue the order in the manner in which it did.”

Wells is taking the town to court to quash the demolition order and his lawyer said the town violated provisions of the Municipal Government Act in that the order didn’t indicate the remedial action that was required.

The town’s order required the property to be demolished by Saturday after which the town could have it demolished and billed against the property.

Wells said in an affidavit that he has a strong emotional tie to the building that was bought by his father in 1954 and was his home for several years. He took possession of the home in 1984 when his father died.

The property has been vacant for several years, but Wells said in his affidavit that he plans to fix it up.

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell