Heritage Conservation Area

A Heritage Conservation Area, or HCA for short, provides long-term protection to an area in its entirety.

For an area to be considered for Heritage Conservation Area, it must demonstrate distinct heritage value and character as a whole.

A Heritage Conservation Area is specified in the City’s Official Community Plan, and cannot alter the zoning on that site. The regulations could govern a variety of character defining or planning related elements of each property including:

  • conservation requirements
  • property maintenance
  • architectural characteristics
  • materials
  • siting, orientation, and setbacks
  • height and massing
  • landscaping
  • parks and public trees
  • other features listed as character defining elements

A Heritage Conservation bylaw must do the following:

  • Identify the character defining elements of the area and resulting heritage value. (See Statements of Significance for more information on character defining elements)
  • Detail the boundaries of the area
  • Include a schedule (a list) of properties protected by the bylaw
  • Specify guidelines or regulations specific to the protection of the neighbourhood and its character defining elements

An HCA would essentially place a layer of heritage protection over all properties within the identified area, regardless of construction age. The heritage site minimum maintenance standards would apply to every property.  All building permit applications (new builds, renovations, demolitions) and subdivision applications would require a Heritage Alteration Permit (HAP), although a list of exemptions could be identified (repairs, maintenance, etc.).

The bylaw for an HCA must describe the special features or characteristic that justifies the HCA and must also clearly indicate the objectives for implementing it. The HCA may include a schedule that lists buildings, landscape features, etc. that would become “protected heritage property” as defined by the Local Government Act.

The inclusion of property within an HCA (whether listed on the schedule or not) would not require the permission of the property owner and there is no requirement for compensation by the City to the property owner in the event that there is a reduction in the market value of their property.