June 4, 2014 9:16 pm
Updated: June 4, 2014 11:33 pm

Vancouver proposes new bylaw to stem heritage home demolitions

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WATCH: Vancouver is considering a proposal that could help preserve some of the city’s character homes that are now being torn down at a rapid rate. Jas Johal reports.

Vancouver is considering a proposal that could help preserve some of the city’s character homes that are now being torn down to make for new construction.

Over the past year, more than 70 homes have been coming down every month. City records show 40 percent of homes demolished in the last four years were built before 1940.

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The city’s proposal includes a major incentive to preserve — rather than demolish — heritage homes.

The new rules would require minimum re-use and recycling of 75 per cent of demolition waste from any homes torn down that were constructed before 1940.

The proposed new bylaw will also require recycling of 90 per cent of demolition waste from structures considered to be character homes.

“This new bylaw, should it be passed, means that you are going to be given a great incentive to keep that home and live in it,” says city councillor Heather Deal.

However, it won’t stop people from tearing down character homes to build a new structure, but it will make it much more expensive.

Deal says the proposed recycling rules may add 10 to 15 per cent to the price of any home demolition and reconstruction.

The goal is to encourage the re-use of character features and reduce waste to the landfill.

Vancouver’s proposed bylaw follows the lead of Seattle and San Francisco.

It’s an attempt to preserve history before more character homes end up in the landfill.

— with files from Jas Johal

© 2014 Shaw Media

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