Heritage Conservation Area

New Westminster Heritage Preservation Society - Heritage Conservation AreaA Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) is a distinct and identifiable neighbourhood, characterized by its historic value and identified in a City’s Official Community Plan (OCP).

Its purpose is to:

  • retain heritage assets in a community,
  • ensure any new development is compatible with the neighbourhood’s existing character.
  • provide design guidelines for any new development.

The Facts

  • An HCA places a layer of long-term heritage protection and design control on the exterior front and sides of the home on all protected properties within the area.
  • Queen’s Park is and will continue to be an RS-1 Zoned neighbourhood. By-laws and property rights and responsibilities won’t change, nor will the RS-1 Zone (single detached home on a property) ever be “down zoned” to reduce the density of the neighbourhood.
  • The City will have in place a process for homeowners to:
    • apply to change the level of heritage protection for their property;
    • apply to demolish the existing house;
    • construct a new home that complements the existing streetscape; or
    • add to or alter the exterior front and sides façade of a heritage home.
  • Research has shown that throughout North America, conservation areas have generally increased the value of the properties contained. In Vancouver, for example, the Coriolis Review concluded there would likely not be a substantial economic impact on First Shaughnessy property values because of their HCA:

“Combining these positive and negative factors, on balance we would characterize the new regulations as having a small impact that will range from between slightly negative and slightly positive (i.e. plus or minus 5% of value) if all incentives are used, depending on the property.” 
Coriolis Report link:  http://council.vancouver.ca/20150721/documents/phea-YellowMemo-Appendix2.pdf