Heritage Revitalization Agreements – HRAs

An artist's illustration of the HRA for West Vancouver's heritage Vinson House with the addition of two cottages on the large property
at 1425 Gordon Ave in Ambleside

A Heritage Revitalization Agreement, or HRA for short, is a formal, voluntary, written agreement that is negotiated between a property owner and a local government. It outlines the duties and obligations of, and the benefits to both parties of the agreement. The agreement allows local governments to supersede local zoning regulations and to provide non-financial incentives which would make it viable for owners to conserve property of heritage merit. An HRA is a form of long-term, legal protection enable

with a bylaw that is registered on the title of the property. It is written to suit unique properties and situations. Therefore, each HRA is different from the next and does not create precedence. Under an HRA , the City may vary the provisions of use, density, zoning, subdivision, sitting regulations and permits. With property values soaring through the roof, heritage homes have little to no value compared to the land they sit on and are at risk of being demolished. HRA’s are a creative and effective way to save at-risk heritage houses.

Heritage Spotlight

Vinson HouseVinson House
1425 Gordon Ave. 1913.
Approved Heritage Revitalization Agreement!

On June 6, 2016, the "Vinson House" became a legally protected heritage resource when West Vancouver Council approved the Heritage Designation Bylaw and the Heritage Revitalization Agreement.

In exchange, the property owner will be adding additional units to the site including a laneway cottage, a garden cottage and a garden suite in the heritage house to create 4 strata lots. The Edwardian garden in the front yard will also be preserved.

The Vinson House was built in 1913 for Valient Vinson, Mayor of West Vancouver from 1918-1920, 1922, and 1927-1929. It was the first house in the upper Hollyburn area, and it is well-preserved and an excellent example of the Craftsman Style.

The Statement of Significance gives heritage value to the Vinson House for its architecture, its age, the development patterns it illustrates, and the significance of its original owner.

Market Update – Keep Calm and Carry On

You can’t pick up a newspaper, turn on the TV or open social media without being inundated with information about the real estate market in Vancouver.

Since the Liberal government introduced the 15% foreign buyer tax at the beginning of August, the headlines have become even more sensational. There is no doubt the new tax to ok the momentum out of the market , but the sky is not falling either.

Sales of detached homes in August 2016 were down 35% compared to August 2015. North Van fared well considering sa les in other areas decreased over 60% such as West Van, the Westside and Burnaby. The benc hmark price for detached homes in North Van in July was $1,699,200 and decreased slightly in August to $1,689,900, but is up 42% since August 2015. The benchmark price has increased approximately 1%-5% every month since the beginning of 2015.

The tax on foreign buyers has dramatically curbed activity, but the figures also show the number of buyer s in the market is still out pacing sellers. It is too soon to make any predictions and more months of data is needed to see a trend, so for now: Keep Calm and Carry On!

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