Ongoing Work in the Queen's Park Heritage Conservation Area

Following adoption of the Queen’s Park Heritage Conservation Area, Council endorsed a two year Implementation Program Work Plan. Implementation projects include the development of an Incentives Program and completion of the Special Limited Category Study.

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  • As part of the implementation of the Heritage Conservation Area, Council directed staff to explore zoning incentives for those properties which would be protected by the policy. 

    To start, three potential incentives were being considered (Increasing Floor Space Ratio, exempting basement floor space and exempting attics from floor space).

    The community and other stakeholders were consulted in December regarding the proposed incentive options. Based on the feedback received, the scope of the incentives program has been expanded to include a wider range of zoning incentives (including the incentives being considered by the City of Vancouver) as well as other categories of incentives (such as process-based incentives or financial-based incentives).

    A range of incentives are now being research by the City. The results of this research will be presented to Council in March and the community in April. Sign up for the mailing list (below) to receive updates on the process.

    Implementation of Short Term Incentives 

    At their May 14, 2018 meeting Council endorsed a framework for implementing the incentives for protected properties. 

    We will now begin implementing the incentives identified for the short term, including: 

    1. Increasing the floor space ratio (FSR) by 0.2 (for a maximum of 0.7). This new floor space could be used for an above ground addition, basement, or attic conversion.
    2. More achievable laneway and carriage house density, which will give more people the opportunity to build the maximum size of laneway house permitted (958 square feet).
    3. Minor relaxations for laneway and carriage house guidelines (similar to those already in place for accessible units and energy efficient design).
    4. Building Code relaxations, at the request of the owner (note: life and safety requirements will not be relaxed).
       

    These incentives will be made available for all protected properties in the Queen’s Park Heritage Conservation Area.

    The next step will be to present the Zoning Bylaw amendment to Council for their consideration. A public hearing would be held at which community members would have the opportunity to share their feedback in person at the meeting or in writing. Once the meeting date has been set, the public hearing will be advertised with postcards, in CityPage and through this mailing list. It is anticipated that the public hearing will be held this spring.

    Feedback on the short term incentives, as well as the rest of the incentives outlined below, can be sent to the Mayor and Council at any time. Email or send a letter addressed to:

    Mayor and Council, City of New Westminster
    511 Royal Avenue
    New Westminster, B.C.  V3L 1H9

    More Incentives Coming Soon

    Council also supported moving forward with additional incentives over the medium term. Staff expect to report back to Council about these in the winter of 2018/2019. Additional incentives include:

    • Developing a policy to support additions to buildings that do not conform with the Zoning Bylaw.
    • Allowing multiple unit conversions with up to three rental units in a building on large properties that are already over the permitted density. No laneway house would be permitted on these properties.
    • Developing additional features for the Heritage Conservation Area’s design guidelines, such as suggested renovation options, and further examples of approvable changes.
    • Exploring ways to speed up related permit processes.
    • Developing a system to provide additional services to support owners when they apply to renovate.
    • Refining the Evaluation Checklist for demolition permit applications or applications to remove protection from a property.


    Council also considered allowing the stratification of laneway and carriage houses. Council’s support was mixed, so staff will continue to explore different approaches for this incentive and will report back to Council.

    Some of the other incentives presented during community consultation are not being implemented for protected properties, but will instead continue to be used as incentives for Heritage Revitalization Agreements. These include: larger laneway or carriage houses, stratification of the principal dwelling, and small lot subdivision.

    Incentives Program Progress 

    June 13, 2017: Council adopts the Queen’s Park Heritage Conservation Area

    July 2017: Working Group Zoning Incentive Recommendations

    October 16, 2017: Council adopts the QPHCA Implementation Work Plan, which includes zoning incentives for protected properties

    December 4, 2017: Report to Council regarding incentive options and consultation plan

    December 5, 2017: Committee Consultation – Community Heritage Commission

    December 6, 2017: Committee Consultation – Advisory Planning Commission

    December 2017: Consultation Round One – Zoning Incentive Open Houses and Survey

    January 17 and 19, 2018: Realtor Consultation

    January 29, 2018: Report to Council regarding results of December public consultation and next steps

    February 7, 2018: Panel Discussion - Learning from Other Perspectives. Panel Discussion Summary Report and boards presented at the Open House prior to the start of the panel.

    March 5, 2018: Report to Council regarding implementation work program update and proposed direction

    March 12 2018: Report to Council on incentive options research findings and Discussion Paper

    March 27, 2018: Committee Consultation – Advisory Planning Commission

    April 4, 2018: Committee Consultation – Community Heritage Commission

    April 2018: Consultation Round Two Open House Boards

    April 16, 2018: Report to Council on Economic Analysis 

    May 7, 2018: Report to Council on consultation findings and recommended incentives

    May 15, 2018: Advisory Planning Commission Consideration of Proposed Short Term Incentives. Agenda package, on table materials, and staff presentation
     

     

  • Through the Heritage Conservation Area policy development process, approximately 80 properties were identified for further study. Through the study, these properties would be reclassified as either protected or non-protected, based on detailed analysis of their heritage merit and development options. This study was originally scheduled to start in the fall of 2018, but Council endorsed a shift in the program to move the study up sooner and expand its scope.

    You can find out if your property will be part of the study by reviewing the Map or Table of HCA Properties by Category, or by contacting the Planning Division.

    Phase One: Assessing Heritage Value

    The first phase of the study is underway. As a first step the City hired heritage professionals to assess the heritage value of each of the properties in the Special Limited Category. 

    Based on the results of this work, an Official Community Plan (OCP) amendment would be presented to Council that proposes moving all the houses found to have no or limited heritage value from the Special Limited Category to the non-protected category. The OCP amendment is anticipated for late spring of 2018.

    Phase Two: Assessing Condition and Development Potential

    Phase two of the study would review the remaining houses in the Special Limited category (those that were deemed to have heritage value) against the Evaluation Checklist. By also considering the other factors, condition and development potential, it may be determined that additional properties should be moved to the non- protected category. Each of the criteria on the checklist will be scored. If a house receives a score of 60% or less, it would be considered reasonable to move the property to the non-protected category. Staff would bring forward an OCP amendment for these properties in spring 2019.

    The remaining properties, those that receive a score on the checklist that indicates the house should be retained, would be moved to the protected category. At the end of the study, the Special Limited category would no longer exist. Leaving only two categories: protected and non-protected.

    Participating in the Study

    The original scope of the study is limited to the approximately 80 properties previously identified. However, the City has expanded the scope of the study to allow other protected property owners to apply and be included. Learn more about the study and how you can be included by reviewing the “Expanded Special Study Area” subpage below.  

  • All protected properties have the opportunity to apply and be included in the Expanded Special Limited Study. 

    Who Should Apply? 

    Any owner of a protected property can apply to be included in the study. 

    If you have a property that has an unusual characteristic, such as a highly sloped lot or a small backyard, or a house that takes up most of the lot, or if you are thinking of applying for a demolition permit in the next few years, you may want to consider applying to have your property reviewed as part of the study.

    The purpose of the study is to identify and review properties that owners feel should have its protection removed. The decision to remove the protection will be based on the criteria in the Evaluation Checklist, which includes criteria in three categories: heritage merit, development potential, and condition. 

    However, having a property changed to the non-protected category would mean that the property would no longer be eligible for incentives currently being considered as part of the Heritage Conservation Area Incentives Program. Further detail about the proposed incentives will be available in the May 7, 2018 Council Report, or you may contact City staff directly for more information.

    How to Apply

    Applications can be made at the Planning Division in City Hall. The application package must include:

    • A completed application form,
    • A title certificate, demonstrating ownership of the property,
    • The application fee ($250), and
    • Any other heritage or building condition information, pertinent to the application, which you would like to provide.
       

    Process 

    Step One: Application Period (May - October 2018)

    The Application Period has now started. Owners of protected properties can make an application at any time before the end of day on October 31, 2018.   

    Step Two: Evaluation (Winter 2018/2019)

    The City will hire a heritage professional to assess the heritage value of each property in the study. This will include conducting site visits and taking photos, as well as doing research about the home. The City will also the building condition and development potential. 

    Each property would then be scored using the Evaluation Checklist. If a house receives a score of 60% or less, it would be considered reasonable to move the property to the non-protected category. The Evaluation Checklist includes criteria in three categories: heritage merit, development potential, and condition.

    Step Three: OCP Amendment (spring 2019)

    Staff would bring forward an OCP amendment for the properties where it is demonstrated to be reasonable to remove protection. City staff will recommend to Council that they support the amendment.

    A public hearing is required before Council can make their decision. A single public hearing will be held for all properties. It is anticipated that this public hearing will be held in spring 2019. Notices will be sent to Queen’s Park residents approximately three weeks beforehand.

    For More Information 

    Please contact Britney Quail, Heritage Policy Planner, if you have any questions: 

    Email:
    Phone at 604-527-4621

    Other Opportunities for Removing Protection 

    At any time, an owner can apply for an Official Community Plan amendment to remove the protection from their property. Owner may also apply for a Heritage Alteration Permit to allow demolition, at any time. Both types of applications are reviewed against the same Evaluation Checklist. 

    For more information about the process for either application type please review the Guide for the Queen's Park Heritage Conservation Area.

  • After the adoption of the Queen's Park Heritage Conservation Area, the Heritage Properties Maintenance Standards Bylaw was revised to ensure the bylaw reflected the new Heritage Conservation Area, other revisions to City policy, and current best practices in heritage conservation.

    The bylaw was adopted by Council on January 29, 2018.
     

  • Owners of houses in the non-protected category, whose properties they feel have strong enough heritage merit, could change to the protected category by applying to list the house on the Heritage Register. Once a property is included on the Heritage Register it would also become part of the protected category and would be eligible for any incentives adopted. There is no fee associated with the application.

    Staff will continue to find opportunities to encourage interested owners to take advantage of voluntary protection. 
     

  • A review of the Heritage Conservation Area would be launched at a minimum two years from adoption, as is best practice. The review would include an assessment of the impact of the heritage protection provisions, a review of the administrative process and procedures, and analysis of the outcomes of the Heritage Conservation Area’s design guidelines.

    Upon the policy review’s launch, indicators would be developed related to the elements of the policy to be reviewed. Those indicators would then be used to analyze data collected over the two year implementation period. Once the review was completed, staff would bring forward the results to Council, and may propose changes to the policy in order to address any issues which might have arisen from the analysis.

    The full scope of the review, including the indicators to be used, would be determined in consultation with Council in the spring of 2019.