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Heritage or Cultural Heritage (used interchangeably) is the legacy of both the tangible and the intangible attributes that our community has inherited from past generations. Our cultural heritage resources include tangible elements such as buildings, monuments, streetscapes, landscapes, books, artifacts, and art, and intangible aspects such as stories, traditions, language, and knowledge.
The City of Maple Ridge has recently updated the Heritage Inventory (also known as the Heritage Resources of Maple Ridge).
Listing a property, natural feature, landscape, etc. on the Heritage Inventory does not provide any legal protection for the heritage resource. However, the Heritage Inventory does note if a property has greater protection through one of the following mechanisms:
To review the entire Heritage Inventory of Heritage Resources of Maple Ridge, click HERE.
A building that is listed on the Heritage Register has been identified because it has been identified as having special architectural, historical and/or cultural value within the community. To have a building listed on the Register does not mean it is legally protected from demolition unless steps have been taken to formally protect the building. Steps to formally protect a building are usually: a separate designation bylaw or covenant process. However, all properties listed on the Register are flagged on our permit system at City Hall. This means that when the City receives an application that will affect the exterior of the building, heritage staff reviews the proposal and collaborates with the owners.
Once a property is designated by bylaw, the owner must obtain a Heritage Alteration Permit to make alterations to specific exterior (and possibly interior features) that are listed as significant in the designating bylaw. Designation is generally limited to the building exterior and even then does not prevent all changes forever. For example, if the streetscape was noted as being significant, a Heritage Alteration Permit would be required for alterations to the parts of the building visible from the street (i.e. the front door), but may not be required for alterations that wouldn’t be seen from the street (i.e. any rear windows). A Heritage Alteration Permit is often required to make changes to a property within a Heritage Conservation Area.
A cultural landscape is, as UNESCO puts it, ” [the] manifestation of the interaction between humankind and its natural environment.” This can include traditional agricultural landscapes, gardens, parklands, and religious or spiritual landscapes, to name a few a examples.
Heritage Revitalization Agreements (HRAs) are a legally binding agreement negotiated by the City and an owner of heritage property. An HRA can vary zoning regulations such as permitted uses, setbacks, density, height, and parking requirements in exchange for restoring a heritage resource and designation.
To ensure the conservation of the historic house, the City’s Heritage Procedures Bylaw requires a Heritage Conservation Plan at the time of application and the Plan must be prepared by a Registered Heritage Professional (CAHP member). Applicants looking to explore the HRA option are strongly encouraged to contact City staff and also engage a Registered Heritage Professional early in the process.
Every property in the City of Maple Ridge has zoning. A Heritage Zone would regulate buildings and structures, identified within a heritage area, and may permit greater flexibility with uses (i.e. expanded residential, employment, and commercial uses) but possibly be more restrictive with lot coverage and building height.
A heritage conservation area is a distinct area with special heritage value and/or heritage character, identified for heritage conservation purposes in an official community plan.
A heritage conservation area is intended to provide long-term protection to a distinctive area, which contains resources with special heritage value and/or heritage character. A heritage conservation area can provide protection to all or some of the properties in a heritage conservation area. Properties that are identified for protection must be specifically identified in the bylaw.
A heritage conservation covenant allows a local government or a heritage organization 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.
There are two main kinds of incentives for heritage properties:
1) Grants. Municipalities or local organization can create a grant program to support projects in Maple Ridge that conserve and promote awareness of our heritage in all the forms it takes.
2) Property Tax Exemptions. The Community Charter gives municipalities broad powers, including revitalization tax exemptions, to regulate activities. The tax exemption provisions in the Community Charter that can be used for facade improvement and heritage conservation projects.
Information on the Heritage Incentives Review Project is available HERE.