Heritage status for historical St. Michaels house on Windsor Road

The original residence for St. Michaels school at 2176 Windsor Rd. is one step closer to becoming a registered heritage property. The residence has significant historical value, and in addition to housing St. Michaels school, was also the residence of headmaster and founder Kyrle C. Symons.

The present owner, Charles Blackhall, had requested in 2012 that Oak Bay council consider a possible Heritage Revitalization Agreement for the property, and also submitted an application for a preliminary subdivision assessment.

After confirming the heritage value of the property, the Heritage Commission recommended it be placed on the heritage register once written consent had been obtained by the owner, and confirmed its eligibility for an HRA.

A conservation plan was also created to be incorporated into the HRA to allow the subdivision while retaining and protecting the original building. The conservation plan includes subdividing the property into two legal parcels, protecting a rare birch tree on the north side of the property, removing the garage, changing the location and style of the deck and replacing a vinyl window on the front face with a wooden-sash casement window.

Council was unanimous in its support of a Heritage Revitalization Bylaw being drafted for the property to preserve the Symons residence and to facilitate the subdivision into two legal parcels, and once complete, to be sent onto the committee of the whole for further review.

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