Recommendation: The proper course of action is to remove the dwelling from the Community Heritage Register prior to it being demolished.
On September 25, 2006, Council passed a resolution to establish a Community Heritage Register while adding the Museum to this list. On February 26, 2007, the single family dwelling at 555 Earle Crescent was one of 25 properties added to the Register. According to BC Assessment, the dwelling was built in 1936 and is 1,500 ft2 in size.
As per the attached Statement of Significance, this home and several others on Earle Crescent are recognized primarily as the homes of Oliver’s first privileged class, the designers and engineers of the ‘ditch.’ The 1.5 story Craftsman style home, along with the brickwork, open eves, long shed dormers for the two upper floor rooms and many other features contribute to its heritage value. Although the dwelling is listed on the Community Heritage Register, it is not protected from demolition or alteration. Two buildings in Oliver, the Museum and the Visitor Centre building, are protected from demolition or alteration via heritage protection bylaws adopted in the early 1980’s.
On July 12, 2019, a fire severely damaged the dwelling at 555 Earle Crescent, leaving it in poor structural condition and a nuisance to the community given that it is being used periodically as a place for vulnerable individuals seeking shelter from the elements. A property management company (Sentinel) has now been appointed as receiver of the property and are intending on
seeking a demolition permit. Although this is not an ideal outcome given that the property is on the Community Heritage Register, it is a necessary one given both the hazards and visual
nuisances that an abandoned, burnt-out building poses.
Town Staff will notify the heritage minister, as per Section 598 (3) of the local government act which states:
Within 30 days after including property in a community heritage register or deleting property from a community heritage register, the local government must give notice of this:
• (a) to the owner of the heritage property in accordance with section 592, and
• (b) to the heritage minister in accordance with section 595.
Given the current state of the building as evident in the photos attached, Staff recommend removal of the dwelling at 555 Earle Crescent from the Community Heritage Register to facilitate the demolition of the structure.
Monday March 9 Committee of the Whole – motion made and carried to demolish heritage home.