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New measures coming to protect heritage residential real estate

Almost everyone loves a neighbourhood with "character." Heritage neighbourhoods are sought after areas for both buyers and developers alike. In Alberta's capital, new measures are being put in place in an effort to preserve the heritage homes and overall feel of some of the older residential real estate across the city.

Homeowners often turn to older neighbourhoods to find an established and unique community. Developers typically come seeking the larger lots and desirable locations. Oversized lots are ripe for subdivision, and homes that have not been designated as heritage residences can be torn down, even if they are listed on Edmonton's heritage inventory.

The city is proposing "special area zoning" to help preserve older communities. Under the proposed plan, new builds would have to be in keeping with the existing flavour of the neighbourhood. Additionally, lots could not be subdivided for multiple residences. Although there would be no ban on demolition, the hope is developers would think twice about removing a home if it has to be replaced with something similar, anyway.

Purchasing residential real estate for redevelopment is very common in urban Alberta. However, zoning restrictions can sometimes make it challenging to move forward with a project as envisioned in certain neighbourhoods. Before jumping in and making a purchase, it is good to do extensive research about the property and the surrounding community. A knowledgeable real estate lawyer can help a buyer make a purchase with confidence, and can also assist with any zoning disputes that may arise in the future.

Source:, "Edmonton heritage homes could get protection boost", Jeremy Simes, March 15, 2017

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