NEWS

One of Vancouver's wealthiest neighbourhoods could be protected from density, development

06/09/2015 03:07 EDT | Updated 06/09/2016 05:59 EDT
The City of Vancouver plans to protect a Shaughnessy neighbourhood from density and re-development with a new heritage conservation district designation.

If passed, the heritage designation would prevent a scenario similar to the Cambie corridor where dozens of single-family homes will be demolished for density. 

Brian Jackson, the city's general manager of planning development, says the bylaw would allow the city to say 'no' to tear-downs without the necessity of offering compensation. 

"Right now we take somebody through a process ... but ultimately they can tear down the house," he told Rick Cluff on CBC Radio One's The Early Edition.

"If we don't want them to, and we want to designate against their will, we would have to compensate them."

Jackon says there are 595 houses in First Shaughnessy, and 317 were built before 1940. Those homes were initially protected under the First Shaughnessy official development plan, but an increase in interest to tear down homes — there were 19 applications for demolition in 2014, up from 3 or 4 a year before that — forced the city to act. 

Jackson said the plan is not designed to protect the city's wealthiest citizens from density, and argues it may actually anger those who seek to cash in on their valuable land.

"The very wealthy property owners may be the ones that are opposing this because they don't want the kind of protection tools we're imposing," he said. 

"We're doing this because First Shaughnessy has this significant concentration of heritage assets."

Jackson says some density would come to First Shaughnessy in the form of additional laneway housing and the possibility of stratifying existing structures. 

City council has voted to send the report to a public hearing process. 30 other communities in B.C. have Heritage Conservation District designations. 

To hear the full interview with Brian Jackson, listen to the audio labelled: One of Vancouver's wealthiest neighbourhoods to be protected from density, development.

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