While the absolute authority of heritage designation rests with the local government’s council, the community heritage commission, working with the heritage and planning departments, will provide oversight. The activities of a community heritage commission may include recommendations on development applications, nominating sites for heritage recognition or designation, reviewing Heritage Strategic Plans, design guidelines, etc.
Please see the community heritage commission guide for a detailed explanation.
Heritage Alteration Permit
The heritage alteration permit is included in the LGA, which says “a heritage alteration permit is issued authorizing the alteration to which the approval applies.” (source)
The City of New Westminster provides the following information: “A Heritage Alteration Permit (HAP) is a tool that allows certain kinds of changes to protected heritage property. This tool ensures the City can respond to the changing needs of the property, and its owners, over time. Proposed alterations and additions to a protected heritage property are reviewed to determine the appropriateness of the changes in relation to the character-defining elements of the building. The changes proposed must be consistent with the intent of the heritage protection bylaws.” (source)
Heritage Conservation Act
The LGA and the Heritage Conservation Act (HCA) each deal with designation; the LGA provides the legal authority to local governments, while the HCA provides authority to the province.
Under the Heritage Conservation Act, the province can protect historic places with provincial-level heritage significance in several ways, primarily through designation as Provincial heritage property (Crown land) or Provincial heritage sites (non-Crown land). (source)
Heritage Conservation Area
Unlike individually designated properties on the heritage register, properties in a Heritage Conservation Area are significant as a group.
A local government can define special areas in its Official Community Plan to provide long-term protection to a distinctive heritage area. Heritage conservation areas may require a heritage alteration permit for:
Heritage Conservation Covenant
This conservation tool allows a local government to negotiate terms of a contractual agreement with a property owner to protect a site, but cannot vary siting, use, or density. Covenants are registered on the land title and may be binding on future property owners.
Heritage Impact Assessment
Prior to development approvals, property owners or developers may be required to provide information regarding the impact of their proposals on protected heritage properties.
Heritage Revitalization Agreement
The heritage revitalization agreement is included in the LGA; it is a voluntary, yet legally binding agreement between the local government and the owner of the heritage property. The agreement may set forth certain regulation and bylaw variances and outlines the duties, obligations, and benefits negotiated by both parties, such as:
The LGA includes a definition that reads: “real property includes buildings, structures and other improvements affixed to the land.” The Community Charter offers this definition: “real property means land, with or without improvements so affixed to the land as to make them in fact and law a part of it.”
Real property is a subset of Canadian property law, which also includes personal property. The Canadian Encyclopedia addresses both types, “Real property (or realty) is land, any buildings on that land, any mineral rights under the land, and anything that is attached to the land or buildings that can be considered permanent. Personal property (sometimes known as chattels) includes any property that is not real property.” (source)
A fuller explanation of Real Property is included in the Community Heritage Register guide found here.
Temporary Heritage Protection
Temporary heritage protection tools deal with immediate and short-term circumstances and can be used until longer-term measures are enacted:
Specific time limits apply. Temporary heritage protection cannot be extended indefinitely. Refer to Division 4 of the Local Government Act for information.