City of Vancouver Motion to Designate Mole Hill as a Heritage Conservation Area

On June 14th the City Council of Vancouver will consider a motion to designate Mole Hill as a Heritage Conservation Area (HCA).

The motion, moved by Councillor Adriane Carr, seconded by Councillor Heather Deal states:

“BE IT RESOLVED THAT Council direct staff to proceed with the steps necessary, including public consultation with all the local stakeholders and working with the Mole Hill Community Housing Society, to designate Mole Hill as a Heritage Conservation Area (HCA), including placing a moratorium on demolitions and development applications for the maximum period allowed under the Vancouver Charter while the HCA designation is being pursued.”

The full motion is available here.

Background: In November 2015 Mole Hill Community Housing Society made an application to the city to designate Mole Hill as a Heritage Conservation Area. The proposal generated a tremendous response from tenants, neighbours, members, stakeholders and supporters of Mole Hill who subsequently advocated in favour of the idea.

The community was galvanized by development proposals on two privately owned properties on Comox Street which seek to construct dominating modern infill buildings directly adjacent to the award-winning heritage laneway. A third property was recently sold for $3,000,000 and redevelopment is expected.

By designating Mole Hill in this way the City of Vancouver could:

  • Signal to the public, owners and developers that the heritage character of the block is highly valued;
  • Provide historic context for directing change on the block;
  • Clarify the importance of creating additional public benefits on the block;
  • Preserve the existing pedestrian character of the laneway and maintain one story massing for buildings adjacent the lane.

In terms of preserving the heritage character of the block for the long term, this is the most significant opportunity since the Mole Hill Community Housing Society was formed fifteen years ago.

Mole Hill is a 170 unit social housing development and a model for sustainable community. The internationally renowned heritage landscape contains 30 buildings listed on the City of Vancouver’s Heritage Registry, more than any block in the City of Vancouver. Awards for Mole Hill include the Heritage Canada Award, the City of Vancouver Heritage Award of Honour, the Canadian Construction Association’s Environmental Achievement Award and a CMHC Housing Award for Best Practices in Affordable Housing.

Public input will likely be scheduled for the evening of Wednesday 15th June.

To speak to the motion contact Nicole Ludwig: / Phone: 604.873.7191

Cut’n’paste into your address bar to write to mayor & council — encourage them to support the motion!

Questions? Contact Quentin Wright, Executive Director, Mole Hill Community Housing Society. 604-681-2096