Heritage Conservation Area

A Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) is a group of related, historically significant properties identified for conservation purposes

Heritage Conservation Areas (HCA) are identified in the City’s Official Community Plan through a City bylaw. Unlike individually designated properties on the heritage register, properties in an Heritage Conservation Area are significant as a group. Key historic features are specified in the Official Community Plan as “character defining elements” to be prioritized for conservation. An HCA designation enables the City to manage change within the designated area to ensure that new construction is appropriate and that the valued aspects of a neighbourhood preserved.

A Heriage Conservation Area establishes a set of conservation objectives and guidelines for achieving these objectives. New construction, land subdivision and major alterations to existing buildings require a heritage alteration permit, which City Staff would review against the objectives and guidelines to ensure that the change was appropriate.

A Heritage Conservation Area does not prohibit the demolition or construction of new buildings. The HCA permit process is also not intended to discourage homeowners from upgrading their properties and many improvements would not be regulated.

Staff have the authority to approve Heritage Alteration Permits for single detached homes that do not have any associated variances. Review would take place concurrently with reviews of building permits and other required permits and could be issued in under two months. A heritage alteration permit with variances that requires City Council approval could take between three and four months to approve.

Citizen Nominations

Citizens are encouraged to identify and nominate potential new residential heritage conservation areas in their community. Using the nomination form, residents may undertake some preliminary research into their neighbourhood to develop a rationale for the City’s consideration. Staff will work with you on further research and consultation with your neighbours. In studying new Heritage Conservation Areas, the City will also engage neighbours to assess public support towards the idea, which will inform Council’s consideration of the Heritage Conservation Area.

Existing Heritage Conservation Areas

Heritage conservation areas are identified under Appendix A of the Official Community Plan and shown on Map 32. Victoria currently has 13 HCA’s, including five traditional residential areas comprised of single detached homes.

Resources