Re: One flattened and another on the clock, Sept. 16
The Delta Heritage Advisory Commission is way out of line stating that the recent heritage houses slated to be demolished are clear cases of "demolition by neglect."
The homeowners of these houses have clearly looked after these wooden structures to have them stand as long as they have and outlast all of their neighbours. The houses simply aren't worth the cost of maintaining to the owner.
The houses on Delta's Heritage Inventory have never received any monies from the Corporation of Delta or the Delta Advisory Commission for their upkeep or maintenance. If these were such important landmarks for Delta, the commission has had 100 years to do something and has chosen to do nothing.
There is more to saving a house than adding it to a heritage inventory list.
The houses in question have been sold many times in the last 100 years and as such important landmarks for Delta, the corporation could have bought these properties and made them into parks and park buildings. Hopefully this would have been done years ago before they needed to be completely rebuilt.
If anybody has been neglectful of these houses, it is the Corporation of Delta and the Heritage Advisory Commission for not raising the money to save these houses when they were worth saving. It is not as if these heritage houses became 100 years old overnight.
The truth is these heritage houses are cool if they aren't yours. These inefficient houses are drafty with little to no insulation value, balloon framed walls, single pane windows, cast iron plumbing, nob and tube wiring, and lead paint that were built before building codes.
They are very expensive to maintain or renovate. Why do you think there are so few left?
If Delta wants to have the look of heritage houses, maybe the Heritage Advisory Commission would be better off helping new construction projects look like they have been standing for 100 years, through providing special variances for builders to build from historical heritage plans, special building exemptions, setbacks, reduced taxes, etc.
Delta's Heritage Advisory Commission has the power to put your house on its "Heritage Inventory" without your permission and there is no process for a homeowner to have it removed once it is on.
To the members of the Heritage Advisory Commission, if you really like the look of heritage houses, buy yourself a heritage house. Otherwise, be patient, as your house too will become old if you stay on top of your maintenance while all of your neighbours decide to build new ones.
Maybe one day there will be a "B.C. Box Commission" that is trying to save your house.