Heritage Resources

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Municipal Designation Process

Determining Suitable Resources for Designation

Are you interested in requesting designation for a historic resource?  If so, please refer to the "Quick Evaluation Tool" to self-evaluate whether or not your resource may be suitable for Municipal Historic Resource Designation.

Process for Municipal Historic Resource Designation

One of the key roles of the Heritage Resources Committee (HRC) is to “evaluate requests for designation of sites/resources and recommend designation to City Council”.  To achieve Municipal Historic Resource Designation, the following process has been established for those owners who are interested in the HRC reviewing a request to designate their property/structure as a Municipal Historic Resource.  Whether the HRC initiates a request to consider designation or a formal request is received from an owner, the following steps are followed: 

  1. Either the owner of a historic resource (building, artefact, tree, landscape) or the HRC initiates a discussion regarding the designation of the resource.  The owner then attends a monthly meeting of HRC for an informal discussion on the procedures and implications of the designation process.
  2. If the owner is still interested, HRC visits resource to gain first-hand knowledge.
  3. HRC uses evaluation criteria in the Alberta Culture “Creating a Future” manual to determine classification of the historic resource. The evaluation considers the City’s thematic framework for historical significance and integrity.  The resource may already be on the City of Medicine Hat's "Places of Interest List" or "Inventory".
  4. If not already done, a Statement of Significance (SOS) is initiated by either the HRC or owner. This is usually completed by a heritage professional consultant following a prescribed format and describes the resource, its integrity and identifies the heritage values and Character-Defining Elements (CDE), which are the components of the structure that make it important to the community. The Consultant discusses potential regulation of the CDEs with the Owner and advises HRC of any conflicts.
  5. The owner indicates in writing (template available) to HRC that he/she wishes to proceed with designation. In the case of a corporation, church or society, there should be a motion by the appropriate board attached.
  6. At a HRC meeting, a discussion is held after reviewing the S0S to determine if the resource should be designated. If approved by HRC, a motion is made to recommend  that Council direct the appropriate City staff to take the actions required by law to achieve designation as a Municipal Historic Resource under the Historical Resources Act.
  7. If City Council supports the recommendation, it would direct the City Clerk to serve notice (60 days) on the owner as required by the Historical Resources Act and the City Solicitor to prepare a bylaw and “Designation Agreement” that would be negotiated with the owner. The Designation Agreement describes the owner’s obligation to protect and maintain those CDEs that are “Regulated Portions” under the bylaw.
  8. The bylaw is presented by HRC through Administrative Committee to City Council for adoption. City Council may pass the bylaw after the expiry of the notice period referred to in paragraph 7 above.  The bylaw designates the property as a Municipal Historic Resource and identifies the specific elements (CDEs) of the property that are considered to possess heritage value and subject to regulation.
  9. Upon successful designation, the resource is then listed on Alberta Register of Historic Places and ultimately, on the Canadian Register of Historic Places. If the regulated CDEs are different than those listed in the SOS, this difference shall be highlighted to the Province during the registration process. However, only the CDEs attached to the bylaw are considered official, other versions being considered drafts. In addition, the bylaw and Designation Agreement are registered against the title to the property.  
  10. A plaque is presented in a public ceremony.
  11. Once on the Register of Municipal Historic Resources, the opportunity exists for the owner to approach the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation (AHRF) for grants in relation to research, maintenance, and repair on or to the property.  A logical approach to repairs and maintenance is to have a Condition Assessment Report and Conservation Plan prepared by a consultant.
  12. Any intervention, i.e. maintenance, repair or replacement of CDEs that are Regulated Portions requires application to the City’s Planning Department on the available form unless the work consists of routine maintenance or preservation of the Regulated Portions.  Work requiring an application should not proceed until reviewed and approved by the Planning Department.  This heritage resource intervention approval is a pre-requisite for AHRF grant funding for eligible conservation work.