The residents of Napanee’s Beverly Street aren’t too keen on a forced address change — and they’re letting the town know it.
Last month, Greater Napanee development services employees hand delivered a notice to about 70 homes on the street, informing owners that in the near future they would have to add 100 to their current civic addresses.
Initially, houses on Beverly were numbered east to west, but there was still room for construction on the east side. Numbers were left for single family dwellings, but planned development changed and townhouses went in. Staff decided to accommodate for the townhouse units, civic numbers should be changed.
Resident Peter Cruji was disappointed with the notice he received, which included instructions for changing addresses on identification cards and bills.
“I didn’t pay any attention to it because they’ve already made up their mind,” Cruji said.
He added he didn’t understand how it would be simpler to inconvenience 70 households to accommodate a couple new units.
“Why should we be bothered?” he said. “I’m retired, but a lot of people have two jobs and they’re not going to have time to do this.”
Cruji drafted a petition urging council to find another way to accommodate the change that would not negatively affect homeowners.
He and fellow resident Stacey Corriveau divided the street — Cruji knocked on about two-thirds of the doors — and between them, they said only one household didn’t sign.
Corriveau said the answers she received at the door were consistent.
“There wasn’t one person that wasn’t upset about it,” she said. Everyone whose door I went to, they all willingly signed the petition. No one was in favour of having to go through the process of having their house renumbered and changing their documentation.
Having just moved to Beverly Street a year ago, Corriveau said she’s familiar with the inconvenience of updating addresses.
Currently, she runs a day-care out of her home and says with the government agencies she needs to visit not having offices in Napanee, it’s near impossible for her to get there. If she does take time off, that could inconvenience five other families.
She said a neighbour is an 85-year-old woman bound for hip surgery who would also have trouble.
Corriveau attended a town hall meeting for affected residents Dec. 7 — two days after the notice was delivered — and said she wasn’t impressed with how that meeting was handled.
One concern was that she said staff was aware there was going to be an issue for several years and they didn’t rectify it earlier.
The town arranged for Canada Post to deliver mail addressed to current addresses for a year, free of charge. It also said it has a supply of replacement numbers available for display on homes, but Corriveau was disappointed by them.
“The quality of numbers was dollar-store quality and there was no offer to repair masonry,” she said. It doesn’t seem like a big deal but some people have them on their pillars and things like that.”
She also noted that for her home-based businesses, she has stationary and cheques with her name and address on them, but there’s been no offer to compensate for those.
“When you take one plus one plus one, it’s not a small thing any more,” she said.
Corriveau wanted to make it clear she wasn’t against the development or developer, but was disappointed with the way the town handled the situation.
Cruji hopes the petition will gain traction.
“I hope they receive this and do something different for all these people,” he said.
He suggested labelling the townhouse units A and B seems like a valid solution, consistent with practices elsewhere in town — though he was told those numbers could create confusion for emergency services.
Another town hall meeting has been scheduled for residents Jan. 16.
Cruji said he’s been told the change will not occur until some time in February. After that residents will have just six days to change their driver’s licences.