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Council asked to protect burnt heritage house
New Westminster council will be asked by its staff to slap a 60-day temporary protection order on any alterations to a historic building in Queensborough that suffered fire damage May 1.
'The Dowling Residence at 240 Jardine St., is the oldest house left in Queensborough.
A rezoning application to develop a 30-unit townhouse development on the lot and one next to it at 1110 Ewen Ave., is currently making its way through city hall. A renovated Queens Hotel would remain on the Ewen Avenue property.
The heritage house was proposed to be retained, restored on the exterior and the interior converted into a duplex.
But according to a staff report to go before council next Monday, the applicant, Tien Sher Ari Investment Group, "was reluctant to retain the house due to what he feels is its poor structural condition. Before staff could send in an independent assessor, the house suffered a fire."
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The day after the blaze, the city's heritage planner Julie Schueck, building inspector and fire inspector surveyed the house and came to an initial conclusion that the outside is salvageable.
If council does issue the protection order when it meets next Monday, the owners would be prevented from carrying out any alterations to the house and any work that "would detract from its heritage value or its heritage character."
The report said the order would allow the city to clarify the future of the house.