Go-ahead for Queen’s Park Heritage Conservation Area greeted with long-awaited cheers and relief

The J.J. and Lottie Johnston House (1905) – an example of a house in the “Advanced” Protection category. photo: Paul Fuoco

It’s Official! City Council unanimously approved the Queen’s Park HCA at June 13th Public Meeting

New Westminster, BC – After a long night of presentations both for and against the proposed Queen’s Park Heritage Conservation Area, City Council voted to approve the by-law amendment to New Westminster’s Official Community Plan to designate Queen’s Park as an HCA. Effective June 17, 2017, this one square kilometre neighbourhood, containing 702 homes of every size and era over the past 150-plus years, will become the largest HCA in Western Canada.

The Guy & Ethel Simpson House (1909) – an example of a house that could be in the “Special Limited” category.  photo: Paul Fuoco

The New Westminster Heritage Preservation Society has been part of the City-appointed stakeholder working group that recommended the Queen’s Park HCA, which will protect existing heritage residences built before 1941 (with some exceptions) and provide design controls for all new construction in the neighbourhood. Under provincial law, this layer of protection is only possible through an HCA.

“Advocating for the preservation of heritage homes in New Westminster has been a hallmark of the NWHPS since the Society was established in 1980,” says NWHPS president, Maureen Arvanitidis, “Every meeting and every campaign has been worth the effort to see heritage protection finally come to a neighbourhood as old and historic as Queen’s Park.”

In a recent letter to the editor for the New West Record, Catherine Hutson, a member of the Queen’s

First Street, 300-block (1946) – an example of a house that would be classified in the “Limited” Protection category.  photo: Paul Fuoco

Park Residents Association, the New Westminster Heritage Commission and the NWHPS, highlighted the common ground shared by supporters and those concerned about the HCA, “We all agree we need to retain that charm and history, but we disagree on how to go about it. Those who have lived in the neighbourhood for decades know that stressors in land use will see – and have seen – a loss of heritage resources. The time has come to offer, here in the oldest city in B.C., sensible legal heritage protection and a set of flexible and respectful design guidelines that many already follow anyway…Studies indicate that prices remain stable and, in many cases, are higher than in non-HCA areas.”

The Queen’s Park Community Mail-out from the City of New Westminster explains all facets of the approved Queen’s Park Heritage Conservation Area.