Mayor and Council approve new measures to protect heritage homes

City Council approved a series of measures today to increase protection for heritage and character homes, taking new steps to reduce demolitions and create incentives to preserve historic homes.

“These new policies are practical steps to preserve neighbourhood character, and respond to the concerns we’ve heard from local residents about the demolition of older homes,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We’ve put in place new incentives to encourage homeowners to choose preservation over demolition, which will help us maintain heritage and move us closer to our greenest city goals.”

City Council approved the following policies today, which City staff brought forward following direction from Council in 2013 to develop a Heritage Action Plan, as well as part of the Greenest City Action Plan:

  • A one-year Heritage Control Period for Temporary Protection in First Shaughnessy, to prohibit the demolition of pre-1940 buildings while a review takes place;
  • A requirement that to demolish a pre-1940 home, the owner must implement a plan to reuse and recycle 75% of the waste, and for a pre-1940 character home, 90% of the waste; and
  • Eliminating the need for a development proforma for retention proposals with up to an additional 10% floor/space ratio, simplifying the process for homeowners.

“We want to make it easier to preserve a home than to tear it down, and these new policies will help make that happen,” said Mayor Robertson. “As well, the waste diversion requirements will help support green jobs in the deconstruction sector, and end the practice of simply sending older homes to the landfill. We want to preserve neighbourhood character and these new steps will help us do so.”

The report on the Heritage Action Plan can be read here: http://former.vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20140610/documents/rr1a.pdf

The report on waste diversion and deconstruction can be read here: http://former.vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20140610/documents/rr1b.pdf