Pemberton ‘eyesore’ to be torn down 

Pemberton’s only barbershop faces closure with one week’s notice

The owner of Pemberton’s Clip Clop barbershop says she has been given a week to vacate the building that houses her business.

With Stacey Johnston out of business, Pemberton will be without a barber.

The barbershop, a fixture in the community for the past three years, is adjacent to the former location of the Pony Espresso. Vacated last October, the abandoned Pony Espresso building has been a bone of contention in the community, with many declaring the decaying building an eyesore.

Now, after months of complaints from community members about the dilapidated building at the entrance to town, the Village of Pemberton (VOP) is having the former Pony building torn down. Johnston’s one-woman barbershop is a causality of that decision.

Numerous verbal and written complaints from residents to the Village of Pemberton (VOP), combined with a water repair nobody wanted to pay for, put the local government in the position of demanding the property’s new owners remove the building.

“We’re under pressure from the VOP to remove the Clip Clop and The Pony,” said Greg Farquharson, vice-president of Windridge Properties. “It’s an eyesore and it doesn’t do us or the VOP any good. We’ve been told by the village to remove the Pony and repair a water line that’s leaking.”

The owner of the Clip Clop says that Windridge approached her a few weeks ago and gave her until February 2007 to find a new location. Soon after, she says was told that she would get a month’s notice. Late last week, she was told that the former Pony, which shares the damaged common water line with the barbershop, would be demolished within a week.

Farquharson says that February was only ever a suggested date.   He says that Windridge has tried to work with Johnston to find a suitable new location, going as far as to offer her a rent-to-own, dual-zoned condominium in Portage Station.

“We worked it so the rent wouldn’t exceed her present rent on her home and business. But she declined our offer,” he said.

Johnston says that while the idea was mentioned in passing, there was no follow-up by Windridge.

“Nobody came to show me the suite,” said Johnston. “It was just brought up once.”

She says that such a situation would have been unworkable.

“No one wants to ring a buzzer and have to go up to someone’s house to have their hair cut,” she said. “I cut everyone’s hair. I don’t want strangers in my home.”

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