Comment 68581

By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted August 29, 2011 at 14:16:18

Well, easiest solution is not ot trust developers to safeguard heritage buildings, especially since their own incentives often run counter to preserving said buildings.

Developers who purchase land with existing buildings on them should be required to make the property secure, and have a bylaw officer visit and confirm good and secure conditions within a short period of time (7 days) of taking possession of the property. Afterwards bylaw officers should make random inspections of properties, at one month intervals, to determine the property is still being properly secured and safeguarded.

Developers should also have to put up a Bond, where they intend to "keep" at least parts of the heritage structure, and the bond will be forfeit if anything (regardless of fault) happens to the structure. This incentivizes the protection of the structure, not only fromt he developer's negligence, but from vandals, natural decay, etc., and shoudl cause developers to take greater than their normal "plywood cladding" precautions (which we all know are not very effective). The amount of the bond should be a multiple of the building's value (or possibly a percentage of the land's value, depending on which would serve as a greater incentive).

It wont' be perfect, but it's a start, and I"d like to see how developers would suggest my proposal be modified to keep it reasonable for everyone involved, while still achieving its objectives.

As for the recycling of materials, it's an absolute shock that they didn't keep anything given the cost of heritage materials. It seems to indicate they felt the building was worth more demolished quickly than it would be to "deconstruct" it and save the materials. Kind of interesting in my opinion.

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