Heritage Designation

Heritage Designation is a form of long-term legal protection that is enabled with a bylaw and is registered on Title.

A Designation Bylaw may be applied to the whole property, part of a property or building, interior or exterior fixtures or features, and landscape features. In New Westminster, the Designation generally applies only to the exterior of the building. Heritage Designation cannot vary land use, density, or other Zoning Bylaw regulations. Designated properties may be eligible for special provisions in the B.C. Building Code and the Homeowner Protection Act. Designated properties also receive a plaque for the property which recognizes the value of their building. 

To see whether a property is Designated or to learn more about Designated properties, view the Heritage Protection Map. To view the Designation Bylaw for a property, contact the Planning Division.

Designation Process

Any property that has heritage value is eligible for Designation. There is no fee to Designate a property. To Designate a property, staff present a report to Council outlining the heritage value of the property, identifying its historic features, and commenting on its compatibility with City policies.

If Council decides to move forward with the Designation process, a Public Hearing will be held before the Designation Bylaw is adopted. To learn more about Designating a property, contact the Planning Division. There is no fee.

Working with a Designated Building

Any changes to a Designated property must be authorized through a Heritage Alteration Permit (HAP). An HAP provides the City the opportunity to review proposed changes to a building and ensure they do not impact its heritage value. There is no fee for an HAP for a Designated property. Applications for the alteration or demolition of a Designated property may be reviewed by the Community Heritage Commission and Council. Council may deny proposed alterations or demolition. 

The City has a Heritage Property Maintenance Standards Bylaw. The purpose of this bylaw is to establish minimum standards of maintenance and ensure heritage properties are not lost through neglect or a lack of maintenance. Standard maintenance, such as replacement of materials in-kind, does not require an HAP.

The New Westminster Heritage Foundation operates an annual grant program: the grants are available to owners of Designated residential buildings for exterior conservation work (e.g., maintenance or restoration). The grant provides up to 50% of the actual cost. The maximum grant award to a qualified heritage homeowner is $10,000. For more information, including eligibility and application criteria or timing, visit the New Westminster Preservation Society.