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Character houses in Vancouver being demolished at higher rate than newer ones

June 11th, 2014 · 15 Comments

That was one fact that emerged from the presentation by general manager of planning Brian Jackson yesterday, in advance of today’s council vote supporting new policies that are an attempt to slow down the demolitions.

More details in Jackson’s Power Point here and my story here.

By the way, I popped over the the inquiries desk at city hall yesterday to check on demolition permits granted. Here is what was on the books, just since June 1:

3049 West 21st
4049 West 33rd
7457 Laburnum
2225 McMullen Avenue
6775 Fleming
2066 West 47th
7289 Adera (a deconstruction)
4157 West 13th
5811 Dumfries
7741 Elliott
5961 Wales

Prior to the meeting, I’d heard from an architect that there are so many applications to build new single family (which is Vancouver almost inevitably entails a demolition) in the last few months that application processing times have jumped from about eight weeks to 14. My guess would be a lot of people are rushing through in order to beat the city’s new character-protection policies. (Which is a sign that at least some people think they’ll be effective, even if some heritage advocates don’t.)

Jackson told me that, in order to unclog the backlog, he got the permits department to send out a message to the 250 people in the queue saying that if their applications were ready to come in right away. That brought 38 people down to the hall hotfoot and almost all of those have now been processed.

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