New Westminster council is moving to do the same as Vancouver did in Shaughnessy, by putting a moratorium on the demolition of heritage homes in the Queen’s Park neighborhood.
Homes built up to 1941 would be protected from demolition and any restorations or renovations would be closely scrutinized by city hall.
However, not everybody in New Westminster is on board with this plan, including Queen’s Park resident Daniel Fontaine.
Fontaine says properly values could fall and the rights of homeowners may be eroded.
“I think what we should be talking about is the proposed bylaw that they’re bringing in. The layers and layers of bureaucracy and red tape that will be added, and the restriction and removal of property rights for people who did not know this during the last election campaign.”
He says the designation is unfair to the actual residents of Queen’s Park.
“I don’t think we need the big hammer of city hall coming down and telling us they’re going to designate a whole neighborhood essentially as a museum and put on a whole slew of different regulatory requirements and additional burdens for families.”
It’s about more than just preserving the past – according to Fontaine it’s also about looking into the future.
“It’s disingenuous to say that people who aren’t supporting this aren’t supporting heritage,” Fontaine says. “Absolutely we are, but we don’t believe that what’s being proposed with this bylaw is actually going to have the intended outcome.”
A public hearing on the matter is set for June.