It’s a bit of future density that holds onto a bit of the neighbourhood’s past.
A century-old Maillardville house was spared the wrecking ball Monday following Coquitlam council’s decision to allow the owner to add both a secondary suite and a duplex on the condition the Beaubien house is preserved.
“We almost lost this one,” said Coun. Craig Hodge, who lauded city staff and the homeowners bringing the heritage revitalization agreement to council. HRAs typically grant a homeowner extra density in exchange for the preservation or restoration of a historic building.
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“Preserving a heritage building is taking a gift from the past, preserving it today for future generations,” Hodge added.
Located at 1125 Cartier Avenue about one block west of Laval Square, the house was built in 1910 and, three years later, had a value of $250. According to a real estate site, the house currently has an estimated value of $1.4 million.
The homeowner asked the city to boost the maximum floor area ratio – a measurement that compares a project’s total floor area to its lot size – from 0.65 to 1.06. The added density is meant to accommodate a secondary suite and a detached duplex on the west side of the site. The four dwelling units add up to 6,637 square feet.
The proposal also includes adding six tandem parking spots on the northeast corner of the site. That inclusion was a sticking point for Coun. Brent Asmundson, who cast the lone vote against the project.
“The whole backyard is now a parking lot,” he objected. “Tandem parking doesn’t work. Those cars will be on the street within the neighbourhood.”
While Coun. Dennis Marsden supported the project, he noted how easy it would be to add a door and incorporate a fifth unit on the site.
“Let’s make sure we’ve got a very high level of diligence on this,” he told city staff.
The heritage revitalization agreement involves preserving the building and removing the gazebo, shed, and carport. The house would be moved farther southeast. While likely not original, the chimney w
The restoration extends to the verandah, which was added in the 1960s, as well as the chimney, which may not have been original.
The new duplex is set to be “compatible and subordinate,” to the Beaubien house, according to the report.
Monday’s agreement comes more than two years after the previous owner moved to have the residence demolished. Mayor and council issued a 60-day temporary protection order in March 2020 in an effort to have city staff serve as matchmaker between the owner and a developer that focuses on heritage conservation.
Originally from Connecticut, miner Alphonse Beaubien bought the lot in 1910 and built the wood-frame, Colonial Revival house as a wave of immigrants settled in the area to work at the mill.
Beaubien sold the property in 1922, when it was valued at $270.
The Cartier Avenue property was also home to Mailardville’s first bakery, as neighbour and baker James Russell plied his trade in a shed behind the house from 1920 to 1927.
Due to its wraparound verandah (which was added in the 1960s) and streetcorner location, the house is a landmark example of early European settlement in Maillardville, according to a city staff report.
The applicant is expected to pay the city approximately $80,600 in development cost charges and community amenity contributions, as well as $4,200 earmarked for Coquitlam’s child care fund.