Vancouver’s Heritage Action Plan
The lovely Shaughnessy neighbourhood might be on it’s way to becoming the city’s first Heritage Conservation District! The City’s Heritage Action Plan is currently reviewing policies and tools in an endeavor to conserve Vancouver’s heritage buildings, and to encourage heritage home retention in the First Shaughnessy neighbourhood.
First Shaughnessy was developed by the Canadian Pacific Railway, beginning in 1907. A little over 50 per cent of the neighbourhood’s homes were built before or during World War II.
Earlier this spring, 64 per cent of respondents supported the plan to establish a Heritage Conservation Area in First Shaughnessy in an initial consultation.
“It’s the first time we’ve had a Heritage Conservation District in the city of Vancouver, but it is a tool that has been used by other cities,” said Brian Jackson, Vancouver’s general manager of planning and development.
“There are a total of 70 Heritage Conservation Districts throughout British Columbia,” he said.
The proposal would allow the city to easily say no to demolitions. The report recommends that the First Shaughnessy matter be referred to Public Hearing, at which time the public would have the opportunity to speak to Council on the recommendations.
While a lot of heritage conservation enthusiasts are keeping their fingers crossed for the successful implementation of the plan, some residents might find themselves concerned about property values. However, according to City reports, the average sale price of unrenovated pre-1940 homes rose 73 per cent in the last five years. Meanwhile, homes built between 1940 and 1999 only rose in price by 51 per cent.
“There are enough original homes in Shaughnessy that still give a sense of the character of the area,” he said. “It gives us a good chance of leaving a legacy way down the road,” heritage expert John Atkin told The Vancouver Sun.