Heritage covenant modified following controversy

Revised modifications for a heritage covenant to a home on Fourth Street approved by city council. - City of New Westminster report
Revised modifications for a heritage covenant to a home on Fourth Street approved by city council.
— image credit: City of New Westminster report

Revised renovation plans for a controversial Queen’s Park heritage home have received city council’s blessing.

The changes were made after the original revisions received negative reviews from the neighbourhood.

A heritage covenant for the home at 218 Fourth St. was originally established in 2007. As the work slowly proceeded some small changes were allowed. But in mid-2013 city inspectors determined major changes had been made contravening the covenant. A stop work order was placed on the home.

The owners were told they could either remove all of the work and build according to the covenant or ask council for it to be modified. They opted for a modification. Despite objections from some city councillors their request went to a public hearing Oct. 28, 2013. But there was little support for the revision from neighbours and the Queen’s Park Residents Association.

The biggest concern was the loss of a tower at the mid-point on the St. George Street side of the home. There were also objections to the pitch of the dormers.

A second set of revised plans was submitted in December and a survey of neighbours showed 52 per cent supported them. With such a slim majority, the owners worked with the architect to answer the community concerns further and make the design closer to the 2007 covenant design.

The new plans include raising the tower, making the pitch of the gabled dormer steeper to match the tower and other dormers, and installing decorative elements with a modern interpretation.

Staff recommended the latest modifications to the covenant be approved which they were without discussion by council.

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