New West residents want to work together to conserve heritage

Queen’s Park residents are keen on working with the city to address heritage issues.

City council has directed staff to begin creating a Queen’s Park neighbourhood heritage working group.

The group is being formed in response to residents’ concerns about the loss of historic houses in the neighbourhood.

Deane Gurney, a director with the Queen’s Park Residents’ Association, told council residents are “very interested” in this working group and want to see it move forward.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said David Brett, president of the Queen’s Park Residents’ Association. “There is a great buy-in.”

Maureen Arvanitidis, president of the New Westminster Heritage Preservation Society, said the move has been a while coming but the group is “very excited” about the opportunity.

A staff report stated the mandate of the working group could include: compiling information about the risks to the existing housing stock in Queen’s Park; identifying the legal framework for potential city initiatives to encourage the retention of houses in the neighbourhood; identifying heritage retention options that are suitable for the Queens’ Park neighbourhood; engaging with area residents to identify the level of support for proposed options; and working with the city to implement options and develop a monitoring program.

In addition to representatives from the Queen’s Park Residents’ Association and the New Westminster Heritage Preservation Society, the city has proposed the neighbourhood working group would include representatives from the city’s community heritage commission, other suitable city committees, a builder with experience building in Queen’s Park, a real estate agent with experience in Queen’s Park, a landscaper or person with an interest in the natural environment of Queen’s Park and area residents.

Brett’ suggested the working group should consist mainly of residents, as Realtors and builders could find themselves in a conflict of interest.

© Royal City Record

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