Clock ticking for 1950s West Van heritage home

They don’t know much about it other than it might be worth saving.

West Vancouver council voted Monday night to halt the demolition of a heritage home in Upper Dundarave in hopes they can persuade the owner to keep and restore the existing 1950s post and beam structure.

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The Chin Residence at 1840 Orchard Way was designed by W.Q. Chin in 1959.

It is listed on the West Vancouver Survey of Significant Architecture, but apart from that, municipal staff know very little about the home.

Still, district staff are now planning to meet with the owner, who had applied to demolish it and replace it with a larger single-family home, to see if it could be eligible for a heritage revitalization agreement. The temporary protection order issued Monday gives the district two months to negotiate before the owner may have the home demolished.

West Vancouver has saved a number of heritage homes by agreeing to subdivide or add extra density to a lot in exchange for restoration and permanent heritage protection for the original house. But far more homes have been lost to demolition and none of the 60-day stays council has issued to date have resulted in a home being saved.

Coun. Craig Cameron said he is looking forward to the district’s new heritage advisory committee, which was formed in 2018, to begin guiding council with some clearer criteria for which homes should be protected and to what lengths council should go to save them.

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