New Clayburn house that generated opposition gets council OK

New Clayburn house that generated opposition gets council OK

Majority of council says heritage protections will keep Clayburn historic

Building a new home next to a century-old house in Clayburn Village won’t jeopardize the historic nature of the small Abbotsford community, a majority of council declared Monday as they allowed a controversial lot split to take place.

A family’s plan to split a large lot and build a new home next to a Clayburn Road home had sparked opposition inside and outside of the village, with more than 2,000 people signing a petition against the plan.

While the man seeking to build on the site said his plans would add to the area’s character, others in the neighbourhood said that shrinking the lot and building a large house next to the existing home would compromised the historical value of the parcel.

After a two-hour public hearing, council voted to allow the project to proceed, with several members saying the move won’t precipitate large scale changes in the community, a worry expressed by many.

“I’m confident that this is not going to endanger the uniqueness of this area,” Coun. Ross Siemens said. “If we allow this today, I don’t think this will be a dangerous precedent.”

Siemens and others pointed to heritage conservation rules that require approval before any substantial changes are made in the village.

Two other lots in the village are similar to that under consideration at Monday’s meeting. Three smaller lots are also vacant.

Residents had said the city had failed to fully communicate the effects of changes made when a new Official Community Plan (OCP) was adopted in 2016.

Coun. Dave Loewen said he was “a little offended” with the characterization that the city had been deliberately secretive, while Siemens and Mayor Henry Braun said the city had tried its best but was open to calls for how it could improve its processes.

Braun offered an olive branch to dissatisfied Clayburn residents, suggesting the city could take a second look at how the OCP affects the village, as it is already doing for Huntingdon.

“We’re trying to manage all of that in a way that is open and transparent. If there’s something we can do better, I’m all ears.”

But Braun said in the case before council, the lot’s owner had put forward an application that followed the city’s policies and met its guidelines and turning it down would be improper.

Coun. Patricia Ross and Les Barkman voted against the proposal. (Couns. Bruce Banman and Brenda Falk were absent.)

Ross said she believed the proponents had good intentions, but that the proposal would detract from the feel and story that makes Clayburn special.

She said that when Abbotsford and Matsqui amalgamated 25 years ago, many people in the city’s smaller communities were worried about losing their “specialness.”

“I made a commitment back then that I wouldn’t let that happen,” Ross said.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)
VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read