Heritage Revitalization Agreements

A Heritage Revitalization Agreement (HRA) is a formal, voluntary, written agreement that is negotiated between a property owner and the City.
The agreement allows the City to provide Zoning Bylaw relaxations as incentives which would make it viable for owners to restore and protect properties with heritage merit. 
An HRA balances these relaxations (e.g., density, land use, parking, height, etc.) with the level of heritage restoration being provided and the heritage value of the property being protected.
An HRA is enabled through two bylaws that are registered on the title of the property. It is a form of long-term, legal protection which also requires regular maintenance of the heritage property. It can require City approval for changes made to the building in the future. 
Additional information on heritage protection and development can be found on the Heritage Protection and Development page.  
When is a Heritage Revitalization Agreement Used?
If proposed changes to a property do not conform to the Zoning Bylaw requirements and the property has heritage value, an HRA may be used to facilitate the changes and protect the heritage property.
Application Review
Once you’ve submitted an application, Planning staff would will coordinate the application review, which may involve other City departments and committees. The application review process is informed by the scope and complexity of the application and on what other associated applications are also needed. A summary of key components of this process is below and Planning Staff should be contacted for further information related to specific sites, inquiries and applications. Additional information may be required through this process and, once feedback is received, changes to the application are expected.
Financing Growth
As the City grows, new and improved infrastructure and services will be required to support new residents and business resulting from development. Development helps pay for the capital costs generated by growth through a combination of tools. 
In many cases, applicants choose to offer a Voluntary Amenity Contribution (VAC) or other in-kind amenities as part of their development application to help finance future amenity and infrastructure improvements. 
For more information on financing tools, visit the Financing Growth webpage.
Consultation with neighbours, the community, City committees and stakeholders may be required depending on the scale, impact, scope or complexity of the proposed application. Planning staff can provide further feedback through an inquiry review.
Community Heritage Commission
HRAs may be presented by staff to the Community Heritage Commission (CHC), a committee who advises Council on heritage-related matters. The CHC may comment on the heritage significance and the proposed restoration work for staff and applicant consideration. 
Reporting to Council
Typically reports are provided to Council at the start of an application review and a final report at the conclusion of that review where Council would make a decision on the application. Other reports to Council may be completed as required and when necessary throughout the process.
A preliminary application report is presented to Council early in the application review process which will advise Council of the application, offer an opportunity for early feedback and confirm the application review process.
The final report is provided to Council once the application has completed the necessary consultation and review and it is ready for Council consideration. This report would summarize the information needed for Council to consider the application for Bylaw readings including a project overview, consultation summary, a summary of public benefits, and identify any terms and conditions. Upon receiving this report, Council may provide any direction, including:
  • Agree to consider the application and forward it for consideration of First and Second readings of the enabling bylaws;
  • Table the application and request more information or reports from staff; or,
  • Decline the application.
Public Hearing
If Council agrees to consider the application, a Public Hearing may be scheduled.
HRA Adoption Requirements
Many HRA applications may have adoption requirements. These are typically technical, legal and administrative requirements and may include: engineering works and services, outstanding payments, and required legal documentation. Once adoptions requirements are finalized, the application would be placed on a Council agenda for consideration of final adoption (Fourth Reading), after which the rezoning process is complete and the application approved.