Fairbank Mansion. Photo Submitted by Dave Hext.

No OMB Hearing On Proposal For Fairbank Property

An Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing will not proceed in an attempt to block a 16-unit apartment complex from being built on the grounds of the Fairbank House in Petrolia.

Resident Andy Hart has dropped his objection to a Committee of Adjustment decision that would allow two buildings on the property.

Town CAO Manny Baron says they hope to come to some sort of agreement with developer and owner David Burnie.

“I think we’re going to try to set up a meeting with Mr. Burnie,” says Baron. “We want to be able to work with him and find a solution. I know in the past it hasn’t always been easy, but I think we’re on the right track.”

Petrolia council decided to seek designation for the property under the Heritage Act, but Baron says they have not yet sent the paperwork to the province.

“Our council hasn’t designated it, so as it stands now, council hasn’t chosen to move forward on the designation,” says┬áBaron.

Burnie has previously indicated he is opposed to any heritage designation for the property.

Over 2,000 people have signed a petition in opposition to the apartment building.

The town wants the developer to come up with a restoration plan for the fire-damaged building built 130 years ago by oil baron John Henry Fairbank.