Developers of a proposed apartment building on Wellington Avenue are offering up the 125-year-old Paisley House that’s on the property for free to anyone willing to pay to have it moved. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Chilliwack developer offers up ‘free’ heritage house downtown

That is, if you have a piece of land and can pay the $50,000 to move the 125-year-old structure

Anyone want a free house?

All you need is a big piece of land to put it on and about $50,000 to move it.

Developers of a proposed apartment building on Wellington Avenue put a listing on Craigslist for the 125-year-old Paisley House.

The house was built by Louis Paisley in 1894, but was later lived in by Isaac Kipp, one of the most influential settlers in the area in the late 19th century, until he died in 1921, according to a history of the house posted on the Facebook page, Chilliwack History Perspectives.

“As this house has some heritage value to the community, rather than tearing the house down, we were hoping to give it away for free,” according to the Craigslist post by OTG Developments.

“The house must be moved at the expense of the party that wishes to acquire it (quoted at approx. $48,000 to $54,000 to move). It also must be placed on a property that can accommodate such a house (setbacks, number of residences allowed on the parcel, etc); it is up to the person taking the house to ensure it meets the necessary requirements.

”If we cannot find someone to take the house, it must be torn down.”

City council was scheduled to give first reading at its Jan. 8 meeting to the development plan for the apartment building on the site of the Paisley House. A public hearing will be called for Jan. 22 after which council could approve the project.

The Paisley House was identified as having “heritage interest” in the city’s 1991 Heritage Inventory, but it is not a legally protected heritage property under the Local Government Act, because that has to be applied for by property owners.

The developer surveyed the neighbourhood to ask if those living nearby would like to see the house moved or if they were indifferent to the retention of the Paisley House. Of those who were home and were willing to respond, six said they’d like to see it moved, three said they were indifferent.

Last year, the developers of a townhouse complex on Maitland Avenue offered up for free the 1914 Pearson House on the site. There were no takers. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

The house on Wellington isn’t the first heritage house offered up for free to anyone who can pay the costs to move it. Last year the developers of a planned townhouse complex on Maitland Avenue offered up the 1911 turquoise clapboard Pearson House to anyone able to move it.

• READ MORE: Community response may save 1911 Chilliwack heritage home slated for demolition

Kevin Nicol with Richlane Homes confirmed Jan. 7 that they had a number of inquiries about relocating the Maitland Avenue home but in the end, no one stepped up to take the home to an new location.

That project is scheduled to begin in the next couple of weeks.

And in 2013, Tycrop Manufacturing offered up the 1902 Mercer House in Rosedale for free for anyone interested in paying for it to be moved. That house was eventually moved to a new location on Nevin Road.

• READ MORE: Mercer house finally gets moved in Rosedale

Laura Reid with the Heritage Chilliwack Society said these are yet more examples of city hall not doing enough to preserve heritage in the city.

“Chilliwack’s heritage is slowly slipping away as development pressures continue,” Reid said. “Perhaps the city could encourage developers to include the heritage home in their new development by offering either tax incentives or density or setback variances like Vancouver does.”

Last year city council directed staff to develop Heritage Strategic Plan in 2019.

• RELATED: Take a self-guided tour of stately heritage homes in Chilliwack

• RELATED: Preserving Chilliwack’s disappearing history

• RELATED: Heritage Chilliwack launches new grant for heritage home owners


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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Developers of a proposed apartment building on Wellington Avenue are offering up the 125-year-old Paisley House for free to anyone willing to pay to have it moved. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Last year, the developers of a townhouse complex on Maitland Avenue offered up for free the 1914 Pearson House on the site. There were no takers. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

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