Please note, this section quotes principal portions of the LGA and is not intended to be a legal interpretation of the LGA. Please refer to the complete Act for more information and seek legal advice as needed.
|594 Notice on land titles
1.) A local government must file a written notice in the land title office with respect to the following real property:
a) property that is subject to a provision under section 393 (1) [repayment requirement in relation to regional district heritage exemptions];
b) property that is subject to a provision under section 225 (6) (c) [repayment requirements in relation to tax exemptions] of the Community Charter in relation to heritage property;
c) property that is subject to a heritage revitalization agreement;
d) property designated by a heritage designation bylaw.
Because the designation of a heritage property is established with a bylaw that affects the title of the property, the local government is required to notify the provincial government about all designated properties.
“Real property” is a legal term that is sometimes misinterpreted, receiving a narrower application than is necessary. Please refer to the section on real property for a definition (found in the Community Heritage Register guide).
|595 Notice to heritage minister
1.) A local government must notify the heritage minister with respect to the following real property:
(a) heritage property for which a tax exemption is provided under section 392 [regional district exemptions for heritage properties];
(b) heritage property for which a tax exemption is provided under section 225 [municipal exemptions for heritage properties] of the Community Charter by reason of it being heritage property;
(c) heritage property included under section 614 (3) (b) in a schedule to an official community plan;
(d) heritage property identified as heritage property in a community heritage register;
(e) heritage property that is subject to a heritage revitalization agreement;
(f) property designated by a heritage designation bylaw.
Similar to the Community Heritage Register, properties that receive heritage designation are to be reported to the province, in this case to the Heritage Branch. The property will be added to the BC Register of Historic Places. The Heritage Branch will deliver the information for inclusion on the Canadian Register of Historic places.
Best Practice: A Statement of Significance is required for notices of new CHR listings and is highly recommended for notices of heritage designations, HRAs and HCAs. Sites from the BC Register that are fully documented with a Statement of Significance will also be added to the Canadian Register of Historic Places, a searchable database of historic places across Canada. In all cases, a Statement of Significance should be prepared for all heritage properties.
|612 Heritage designation procedure
1.) Before a heritage designation bylaw is adopted, the local government must hold a public hearing on the proposed bylaw for the purpose of allowing affected parties and the general public to make representations respecting matters contained in the proposed bylaw.
(2) The following provisions of Part 14 [Planning and Land Use Management] apply with respect to the public hearing and enactment of the heritage designation bylaw:
a. section 465 [public hearing procedures];
b. section 469 [delegating the holding of public hearings];
c. section 470 [procedure after public hearing];
d. section 480 [adoption of municipal zoning bylaw].
(3) At least 10 days before the public hearing, a notice in the prescribed form must be given in accordance with section 592 [giving notice to owners and occupiers] to
a. all persons who, according to the records of the land title office, have a registered interest in real property that would be designated, and
b. all occupiers of real property that would be designated.
(4) A notice in the prescribed form must also be published in at least 2 consecutive issues of a newspaper, with the last publication to be at least 3 days but not more than 10 days before the public hearing.
(5) The local government must have a report prepared regarding the property to be designated that includes information respecting the following matters:
a. the heritage value or heritage character of the property;
b. the compatibility of conservation with the official community plan and any other community planning objectives in the area in which the property is located;
c. the compatibility of conservation with lawful uses of the property and adjoining lands;
d. the condition and economic viability of the property;
e. the possible need for financial or other support to enable appropriate conservation.
(6) At least 10 days before the public hearing, the report under subsection (5) must be available for public inspection at the local government office during its regular office hours.
(7) No heritage designation bylaw is invalid for inadvertent and minor non-compliance with this section or Division 2 [Notices under this Part], or for an error or omission in the report required under subsection (5).
(8) Within 30 days after a local government adopts or defeats a heritage designation bylaw or determines not to proceed with the bylaw, the local government must give notice of this in the prescribed form to the owners entitled to notice under subsection (3) (a).
(9) Within 30 days after adopting a heritage designation bylaw, the local government must give notice of this
a. to the land title office in accordance with section 594, and
b. (b) to the heritage minister in accordance with section 595.
The LGA provides a detailed procedure to be followed when initiating the designation process. An administrative overview of the designation process is found here.
|613 Compensation for heritage designation
(1) If a designation by a heritage designation bylaw causes, or will cause at the time of designation, a reduction in the market value of the designated property, the local government must compensate an owner of the designated property who makes an application under subsection (2),
(a) in an amount or in a form the local government and the owner agree on, or
(b) failing an agreement, in an amount or in a form determined by binding arbitration under subsection (4).
(2) The owner of a designated property may apply to the local government for compensation for the reduction in the market value of the designated property.
(3) An application under subsection (2)
(a) must be made, in order for the owner to be entitled to compensation under this section, no later than one year after the heritage designation bylaw is adopted, and
(b) may be made before the heritage designation bylaw is adopted.
(4) If the local government and an owner are unable to agree
(a) that the owner is entitled to compensation, or
(b) on the amount or form of compensation,
then either the local government or the owner may require the matter to be determined by binding arbitration under the Arbitration Act.
(5) An arbitration under this section must be by a single arbitrator unless the local government and the owner agree to the appointment of an arbitration panel.
(6) The arbitrator or arbitration panel, in determining whether the owner is entitled to compensation and the amount or form of compensation, must consider
(a) financial and other support available for conservation of the designated property, and
(b) any other benefits that are available because of the designation of the property.
(7) Compensation must not be paid, and an arbitration must not continue, if the local government defeats or decides not to proceed with the heritage designation bylaw.
(8) Nothing in this section authorizes the local government to give any financial or other benefit to an owner except that which is commensurate with the reduction in the market value of the designated property caused by that designation.
(9) This section does not apply with respect to property that, immediately before the adoption of the heritage designation bylaw, is already designated under a heritage designation bylaw or under section 9 of the Heritage Conservation Act.
The effect of heritage designation on the value of the property can be contentious with property owners, and it is a topic that elicits fears and misconceptions.
Several studies explore the relationship of property valuation and designation and register listing. The evidence indicates properties that are recognized for their heritage values will more likely increase in commercial value. For further information, please refer to Heritage BC’s webinar-on-demand; a summary is provided in this guide.
|Designation of heritage conservation areas
|This guide does not describe heritage conservation areas. Please refer to Heritage BC’s webinar-on-demo and to the Heritage Conservation Areas Resource Guide.|
|616 Heritage site maintenance standards
(1) A local government may, by bylaw, establish minimum standards for the maintenance of real property that is
(a) designated as protected by a heritage designation bylaw, or
(b) within a heritage conservation area.
(2) Different standards may be established under subsection (1) for different areas or for different types or classes of property.
The local government may require the property owner to maintain the property to a specified standard. Care and maintenance standards will be described in the bylaw that establishes the designation.