DELTA - Council has voted to give temporary protection to a high-profile heritage house in Delta that was possibly headed for demolition.
At Monday's meeting, civic politicians approved a request from the Delta Heritage Advisory Commission to issue a temporary heritage protection for the Kittson residence at 9230 Ladner Trunk Rd.
Last month, after the Corporation received a demolition application for the farmhouse and barn, Coun. Anne Peterson, who sits on the heritage commission, raised concerns about the state of heritage homes in Delta - how they're falling into disrepair and being demolished.
Delta pioneer Robert Kittson built the barn in 1895 and the house in 1907. The house is listed as having a high heritage value and is on Delta's heritage inventory, but not on a heritage registry, which provides greater protection.
The Kittson house is on a 40-acre parcel and was recently sold by John van Dongen to a new owner, who is planning to build greenhouses on the property.
"This is a house that has some serious, serious problems," said Coun. Ian Paton, noting that it would be costly for the owners to restore it.
The commission was told the cost to restore the house is estimated between $400,000 and $500,000.
The cost of moving it within a 10-mile radius was estimated to be $250,000, however, an assessment determined that, structurally, the house should not be moved.
Council agreed to issue a 60-day heritage protection order for the home to give staff time to consult with the new owners, Bram and Jos Moerman, to see if other avenues for the house can be explored.
Coun. Scott Hamilton stressed that the protection of the home is temporary and the building is at the mercy of the new owners - Delta does not have the money to step in and restore the home, he said, and such actions are not in the municipality's purview.
"I, personally, am not holding out a lot of hope," he said.
Correspondence from the new owners suggests a willingness to negotiate with Delta to save the house.
In an e-mail received Monday, the Moermans suggest that they will withdraw the demolition application if Delta agrees to issue a fill permit before they have submitted a building permit for the greenhouse operation.
Typically, Delta requires a building permit be completed before a fill permit can be issued.