County, Terminals agree to enter negotiated settlement window

Picton Terminals has run afoul of the County's Bylaw department. The port operation was charged in early May for unapproved usage of lands for the storage of sea containers. (Submitted Photo)


A period of no fire between Picton Terminals and the County of Prince Edward may allow the parties to reach an agreement regarding allowed activities at the port operation.

The municipality announced Monday that The County of Prince Edward and Picton Terminals have agreed to engage in discussions that may lead to a negotiated settlement.

Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

Should the parties not find common ground, it’s expected they will be before a Ontario Superior Court Justice later this year regarding the zoning and allowed activities at the Picton Terminals site on White Chapel Road overlooking Picton Bay.

The County contends transhipment of sea containers is not allowed under the mixed use zoning of the property while Picton Terminals has stated that, as a port operation, Provincial and municipal bylaws do not apply to ongoing business activities.

“We hope to avoid a costly and protracted legal battle. Our goal is to arrive at a settlement that addresses the County’s and the public’s serious concerns with the operation of Picton Terminals that Council stood up against in 2020, while also ensuring the best interests of the public and of the local and regional economy in the long term,” Mayor Steve Ferguson said in a statement. “If a settlement can be reached, we will also address some issues to the benefit of the community.”

County Council has directed its Chief Administrative Officer Marcia Wallace and legal team to negotiate an agreement with Picton Terminals and return to Council for review and final approval.

During the negotiation window from May 1 to May 31, Picton Terminals has agreed not to perform any major construction on the property. County will continue with its by-law enforcement order against Picton Terminals related to shipping containers on the site.

Because Picton Terminals did not comply with the order within the two-week period granted, the municipality is in the process of laying a charge against the company in order to achieve compliance.