Recommendations in the Government's royal commission report could see Waimate's main street flattened, says Waimate Mayor John Coles.
The report recommended that local authorities would have five years to undertake seismic capacity assessment of buildings. Owners would then have 10 years to strengthen or demolish any buildings that fell below 33 per cent of the strength required for new buildings.
The report will be discussed at this week's council workshop.
Mr Coles said, in his opinion, the Government's proposals have massive implications for all provincial towns and he has already fielded approaches from concerned organisations.
In Queen St, only two buildings are under 100 years old.
"Already some organisations, such as churches, have chosen to vacate their buildings because of assessments showing the building's strength is well under the current level," he said.
"It is my fear that organisations and businesses forced to find alternative buildings because of their own policies may not find suitable accommodation and have to leave town."
Waimate Council's stance has been to delay reviewing its Earthquake-Prone, Dangerous and Insanitary Building Policy until the Government released its findings while retaining a passive approach. This means unless there is a change of use, or the building is deemed dangerous, the status quo remains.
"If the valuations of Waimate's buildings were to diminish the rural and residential community would have to pick up the tab of the rating imbalance," he said.
"There would be extra costs incurred by council in enforcing these proposed regulations, which would be ultimately passed on to ratepayers."
Mr Coles voiced his concern for the elderly population, saying the last thing he would like to see is these people having to go to larger towns to do their business such as shopping, if the town's business area becomes a ghost town.
He encourages members of the public to go on to the MYBE website and make their own submissions before March 8.