New West Heritage Preservation Society - IncentivesThe Queen’s Park HCA has been adopted and heritage protection measures are now in place. We want to ensure that this level of protection for our valuable inventory of heritage homes is maintained through the study period and beyond. To that end, Council is seeking public input on proposed incentives to support homeowners in these property categories:

Advanced Protection:  houses built in 1940 or earlier; houses with a Heritage Designation; houses listed on the Heritage Register.

Temporary special limited (study): houses built in 1940 or earlier with less than 30 feet of lot frontage; less than two full storeys; or exceed the allowable site coverage or fall below allowable floor space .

Incentives under consideration include:

  • an increased floor space ratio (FSR) of between 0.1 and 0.2 FSR
  • full basements exempted from FSR calculations – a livability issue for people in small houses without basements. Under this potential incentive, homeowners could create or improve their existing lower level to add more living space or possibly a rental or in-law suite.
  • stratification to multi-dwelling properties; and subdivision to small lot properties.
  • allowing additions that are consistent (or more consistent) with existing buildings on the property
  • an enhanced citywide heritage grant program
  • streamlining the approval process so owners know what they can or can’t do with their property in a timely fashion

While some residents have requested compensation and suggested tax benefits, the city is not recommending these options.

The Queen’s Park HCA is win for our city. It’s the culmination of three years of research and discussion by the City-appointed Queen’s Park Working Group. I hope it’s only the first HCA to be adopted in New Westminster as our unique variety of heritage homes can be found in nearly every neighbourhood. We need to make ourselves heard so please respond to the survey and attend the open houses at City Hall to add your comments to the boards. Your input helps ensure the incentives proposed for Advanced category homes help all owners restore or preserve their heritage residences.

Come see our city’s heritage stock for yourself at our Annual NWHPS Homes Tour on Sunday, May 27, 10 am – 5 pm. Stay tuned for more information on what’s shaping up to be an exceptional tour!