HRA’s – Balancing the past and creating a future

New Westminster Heritage Preservation SocietyNWHPS president Maureen Arvanitidis talks to the Early Edition’s host Rick Cluff about Heritage Revitalization Agreements in New Westminster

Maureen Arvanitidis joined Rick Cluff to talk about the Heritage Revitalization Agreement (HRA) that was presented at a public hearing Monday, April 27. City Council is considering the application to sub-divide the 1897 Lynch property in the 200 block of Queen’s Avenue. The owner wants to subdivide the property and construct a new building that faces Gifford Place, while revitalizing the original home that faces Queen’s Avenue.

An HRA is a formal, voluntary, written agreement that is negotiated between a property owner and a local government. It outlines the duties and obligations of, and the benefits to both parties of the agreement.

During the interview, Maureen made several key points:

  • New Westminster can accommodate development and increasing density while preserving the character and heritage of its neighbourhoods. Sometimes a proposal for revitalization will benefit the property owner and be accepted by neighbours, while  in other instances, it will arouse controversy for various reasons.
  • The issue is not the existence of HRA’s, it’s how they’re applied. Various factors come into play when considering changes to a heritage property – its proximity to neighbouring residences, architectural design in keeping with the neighbourhood, access and parking.
  • HRA’s aren’t the only option available to homeowners and developers who want to renovate, restore or build. The City of New Westminster outlines various forms of heritage property protection on its website.
  • Canadian studies have shown that over the past 30 years, Heritage homes and designated Heritage Conservation Areas not only maintained their value during depressed market conditions, but also increased in value — in excess of other house prices in active markets.
  • NWHPS is working with the City as a member of the Queen’s Park Neighbourhood Heritage Study Group whose purpose is to examine different approaches to retaining and enhancing the character of the Queen’s Park neighbourhood; and with the Queen’s Park Residents Association.

Rick Cluff, The Early Edition host, interviewed Maureen Arvanitidis on April 27, 2015.

This entry was posted on Saturday, May 2nd, 2015 at 10:03 am and is filed under Heritage Conservation Area, News and Events. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.