Mayor Lois Jackson is hoping people in the community will want to come together to save some of Delta's heritage buildings from the wrecking ball.
Jackson is asking the civic heritage committee to look into spreading the word that those interested in heritage preservation should consider joining forces to form a society.
"It has occurred to me over a long period of time that we continue to lose a lot of these grand old buildings," said Jackson.
"One day will pass by and it's suddenly gone."
The loss of heritage buildings has been a sore point of late for civic politicians as well as residents.
Although Delta has heritage conservation arrangements available, offering incentives for property owners looking to subdivide or redevelop their land, Jackson feels more can be done.
Last fall, a demolition crew tore down the old Friesen residence at 6721 Ladner Trunk Rd. Council approved a demolition permit, but told the owner to first offer the home for sale for 30 days for $1 to anyone interested in buying and moving it.
Located on a 17.8-hectare (44-acre) property in the Agricultural Land Reserve, the home, believed to have been built sometime in the early 1920s, had turned into an eyesore.
At the time, former councillor Anne Peterson, a member of the Delta Heritage Advisory Commission, said it was a clear case of "demolition by neglect."
Council, meantime, placed a temporary protection order for the Kittson residence at 9230 Ladner Trunk Rd., but the clock is ticking for that home as well.
The new owners applied for a demolition application for the farmhouse built by Robert Kittson 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 more protection. Owners usually have to agree to place their heritage structures in the inventory.
The heritage commission was told the cost to restore the Kittson house is estimated between $400,000 and $500,000.
Another example of a heritage home being demolished was the Robert Smith residence at the corner of Highway 17 and 56th Street in Tsawwassen. Vacant and dilapidated for years, the property is now owned by the Century Group. President Sean Hodgins said he applied to demolish the house after he was unable to find a local group willing to help preserve it.
Jackson hopes a group of volunteers coming together to form a society might have luck in securing the funding needed to save such buildings.
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