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Rooftop 'boxes' in Old Town need second look, Madoff says

May 06 2012

Victoria's heritage advisory committee is concerned about the proliferation of "boxes" being added to the rooftops of heritage buildings.

And Coun. Pam Madoff wants council to examine the additions and their impact on Old Town to see if it's a route the city wants to stay on.

"I think it's time to review it. We have a cumulative effect," said Madoff.

Since 2006, additions have been included in a number of downtown heritage building conversions, including the Hudson at 1701 Douglas St. The additions are generally portrayed as the key to making revitalization of heritage buildings economically viable.

A committee resolution expressing concern about the rooftop additions came after one at 538 Yates St. was recommended for approval.

But the concerns stemmed more from an earlier permit for an addition to the Hoy Sun Ning Yung Benevolent Association's buildings at Pandora Avenue and Fan Tan Alley, said Ken Johnson, the committee's chairman.

Committee member Coun. Lisa Helps voted against further examination of the policies, saying council already has control of heritage and land-use issues.

But, if not now, when, asked Madoff. "There's going to be one after another. This may be a good thing. It may not. There may be impacts we haven't considered because this was all based on policy in the past versus actual constructed units." bcleverley@timescolonist.com

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