The New Westminster Record: The Changing City

new-westminster-recordThe Changing City:

Save more heritage homes

by Theresa McManus   tmcmanus@newwestrecord.ca

(re-printed from the Thursday, March 9, 2017 edition of The Record; photos added from Monday, March 6 city council meeting presentation by NWHPS)

Group wants more homes to get ‘advanced protection’

400-block First Street 1937 (City’s proposed HCA category: ‘standard protection’ for houses built between 1930 and 1949)

Heritage advocates are encouraging the city to expand the number of houses that will be given top billing in a proposed heritage conservation area.

The City of New Westminster is working to establish a conservation area for the Queen’s Park neighbourhood, which proposes different levels of heritage protection for all single-family houses in the neighbourhood. The draft plan suggests advanced protection would be placed on homes built up until 1929, with homes from 1930 to 1949 having standard protection and houses built after 1950 having limited protection.

“Once approved, we will be the largest conservation area in Western Canada. We will be a destination for many to come and see, and an example for others to follow,” said Maureen Arvanitidis, president of the New Westminster Heritage Preservation Society.

‘Heady Times’ for heritage changes

“It’s heady times, but we can work it out and we can do it, but we need to get it right.”

500 block 5th Street 1909 photo credit: Paul Fuoco

500-block 5th Street 1909 (City’s proposed HCA category: ‘advanced protection’ for houses built up to 1929)  photo credit: Paul Fuoco

Under the current proposal, advanced protection would require a heritage alteration permit for major construction activities on the front and sides of the house, subdivisions and demolitions. Standard protection would require a heritage alteration permit for demolitions and subdivision, while limited protection would require a heritage alteration permit for subdivision only.

Arvanitidis said advanced protection must be extended to include homes built up to 1940, but would ideally include 1941 to 1959 homes in order to protect mid-century modern houses. While there’s not a lot of mid-century modern houses in the neighbourhood, she said some of them are “very significant” homes.

100-block Fourth Avenue 1940-41 (City’s proposed HCA category:  ‘standard protection’ for houses built between 1930 and 1949)

“As you can see from these photographic examples, the homes from the ’30s’, ’40’s and ’50’s have significant heritage value. They should fall into the advanced category,” Arvanitidis said as photos of homes flashed on a screen in council chamber [Monday evening, March 6, 2017]. Many of them are in very original condition and have historical importance.”

Jackie Teed, the city’s acting director of development services, said the draft policy, which includes the three-tiered approach to conservation, is going out for community consultation.

200 block Queen's Avenue 1951

200-block Queen’s Avenue 1951  (City’s  proposed HCA category: ‘limited protection’ for houses built from 1950-1976) NWHPS would like to see ‘advanced protection’ extended from the City’s proposed 1929 cut-off to 1959 to ensure homes right up to the ’50’s Mid-Century Modern style are protected.