Tear-down controversy over $7.4M historic Vancouver home
Published Wednesday, March 30, 2016 9:20AM EDT
An online campaign has been launched calling on Vancouver officials to protect a historic home that could be facing the wrecking ball.
The 4,592 square-foot English Tudor-style home, located in the Shaughnessy neighbourhood, was built in 1922 by the same architecture firm that built Vancouver's city hall.
It was recently put up for sale, with an asking price of $7.38 million, and part of the listing promotes that the home may potentially be torn down. It reads, "Almost ready for the development permit, saving months and months of time to begin building your brand new home to your taste."
Javier Campos from the Vancouver Heritage Society says more needs to be done to protect historic homes in the city. "We don't have a lot of these examples left," he told CTV Vancouver.
An online campaign has been launched on Facebook, urging Vancouver residents to write city officials and demand they reject the development permit.
City staff say they are still considering the permit application, and have not yet made a decision. However, the sellers of the home have already erected orange construction fencing on parts of the property.
Realtor Les Twarog says having a development permit makes the home more appealing to potential buyers.
"That makes the house much more sellable," he said. "It's much easier for someone to buy a property that has a permit in place." But even Twarog says more needs to be done to protect historic properties.
"I think it's crazy allowing a home like this to be torn down. It's a beautiful home," he said.
Just a few blocks away in the historic neighbourhood of First Shaughnessy, the city doesn't allow the demolition of houses built before 1940. But this house is in Second Shaughnessy, and doesn't have the same kind of protection.
Campos says the city needs to re-examine which homes and neighbourhoods should have heritage protection.
"We should determine which are great examples that we need to keep, and then allow development in other areas," he said.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Mi-Jung Lee