Proposal to split Clayburn property at centre of historic debate heads to public hearing

Opponents say building a house near century-old home would be blow to neighbourhood’s heritage

A controversial house proposed for Clayburn Village is back on track for a public hearing, despite the reservations of several Abbotsford councillors.

A local man hopes to subdivide a large property in the village and build a new home for his family, but members of the Clayburn Village Community Society argue that doing so would be a blow to the area’s historic character.

They say the large lot reflects the prestige of its original owner – the former works accountant for the Clayburn Brickworks – and that splitting the property and building a new house would diminish the stature of the modest century-old home on the site. The would-be developer, though, says the origins of the house, and its first owner, are in doubt.

Council first saw the proposal last year and voted to send it to a public hearing. But the project was stalled and eventually routed back to the city’s development advisory committee for comment. On Monday, the proposal returned to the council table, which again voted to send it to a public hearing.

But that unanimous vote came after several councillors indicated they were sympathetic to arguments that the proposal would detract from the historical value of the neighbourhood.

Couns. Patricia Ross, Dave Loewen and Bruce Banman all said they were hoping to hear more from the public, while suggesting they didn’t necessarily support the project itself.

“It might meet the … or broader OCP objectives,” Ross said. “But I’m not sure it meets the needs of this very unique and special heritage area.”

She said the placement of the new home was such that “it could very much overshadow the existing house there and change the look of the neighbourhood.”

Loewen also said the city needed to preserve the area. He said he had initially planned to vote against first reading, but would vote to move the issue to a hearing in order to hear from the public.

And Banman said the Clayburn community had been left feeling that their concerns hadn’t been heard.

The city’s development advisory committee considered the plan in May and declared itself in support of the proposal. The society had been given just a day’s notice before the issue came before the city’s development advisory committee (DAC). That left them unable to ask to speak on the topic to the committee.

“They feel like they have … been denied the ability to have any input before it gets here and, as Councillor Ross said, DAC carries a fair amount of weight with council and they feel their voice has not been heard,” Banman said.

Coun. Sandy Blue, who chairs the development advisory committee, said she also hoped to heard from the public at the future meeting. And she added that the new house’s setback was similar to that of other homes in the area.

“We have been accused of not caring about heritage here at council and that couldn’t be further from the truth,” she said.

RELATED: Can a lot have heritage value?

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
tolsen@abbynews.com


@ty_olsen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Abbotsford Police target 30 school zones in 30 hours

‘30 in 30’ project runs Thursday and Friday at all elementary schools

Gunmen arrested after holdup of marijuana dispensary in Abbotsford

Two 18-year-old males demanded cash and weed before taking off on foot

Mistrial declared in Chilliwack’s David Lee Roth impersonator underage sex case

David Kuntz-Angel convicted in August but BC Supreme Court Justice’s ‘mental faculties’ questioned

Globetrotter competes at Abbotsford celebrity wheelchair basketball game

Zeus McClurkin one of several top athletes who hit the court at Rick Hansen Secondary

White Rock woman seeks fellow hockey players for BC 55+ Games

Sue Rittinger aiming to put Zone 3 women’s team together in time for September event

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

B.C. man rescued after getting trapped headfirst in well as water level rose

The rescue involved crews from Oak Bay and Saanich

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

Mud slide prompts evacuation in Burnaby as rain saturates southern B.C.

About 20 metres of a five to six-metre high wall gave way

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

Former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse in B.C. granted day parole

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s

VIDEO: Person in wheelchair narrowly avoids collision with car in Kelowna

There were no injuries in the scary looking near-accident last week in Rutland

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

Fraser Valley poultry producer’s $130,000 fight with the CFIA earns him a red-tape award

Canadian Federation of Independent Business Paperweight Awards ‘honour’ government over-regulation

Most Read