The Hope Station House is back up for discussion for Monday’s District of Hope council meeting.
District Mayor Peter Robb has issued a memorandum to council, asking councillors to consider repealing Heritage Designation Bylaw No. 633, a 1982 bylaw that designates the Station House as a municipal heritage site.
“This has been and remains a difficult and significant issue for the community and several previous councils,” Robb wrote in a memo dated April 7. “As a result, the community and Council sometimes need to make difficult decisions and add certainty as we move forward. This means not being able to please everyone, healing wounds and looking forward.”
The resolution, dubbed Bylaw No. 1502, cites the Station House’s poor condition and district’s lack of funding to restore it with other high-priority municipal projects in the works among the reasons repeal is up for consideration.
Repealing the bylaw does not immediately spell doom for the Station House. Instead, it would present the community with three options: potentially moving the building from the district, transferring it to a nearby First Nation or demolition.
Should council approve the three readings of this resolution, a public consultation process would begin.
“In a spirit of inclusion and transparency, Council will seek further input from particular stakeholders, including the Coalition, regarding the possible options mentioned above, for further consideration at our April 26 council meeting,” Robb wrote.
The Station House has been the subject of controversy for months. Demolition work has been halted under provincial authority orders, with the Station House still standing at Old Hope-Princeton Way on the original deadline day of Friday, April 9. The construction fence has been down for a number of weeks and the building has since been vandalized.
The B.C. Ombudsperson’s Office is investigating the district after the coalition filed complaints of alleged lack of transparency and diligence in maintaining the building while it was under their care.
The Coalition for the Preservation of the Hope Station House is scheduled to be in attendance to present possible solutions to preserve the 1916 building.
The meeting takes place on Monday, April 12, at 7 p.m. via Facebook Live at facebook.com/DistrictOfHope.