PHASE 2

Using the recommendations from our consultant and feedback from participants in Phase 1, we have drafted Heritage Incentives for your feedback. The incentives focus on three main areas:

  • Uses – the type of activity, business or residence allowed on a piece of land or within a building.
  • Development size – how much land a building can cover on a certain parcel or piece of land (lot coverage) and how large additions can be.
  • Procedures – include notice posting requirements, permit requirements and fees.

If a character home is demolished, the proposed Heritage Incentives will no longer apply to the property. For a property owner to take advantage of the proposed Heritage Incentives the character home must remain on the property.

We want to hear your thoughts on the proposed Heritage Incentives. You can do this by filling out the survey below or by attending a virtual engagement session. There are three engagement sessions are scheduled for:

Session 1 – February 1 – 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Session 2 – February 2 – 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Session 3 – February 2 – 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

The information at each session will be the same, so you do not need to attend all three. You can sign-up for one of the engagement sessions here.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

We have heard concerns from Calgarians about the rapid pace that heritage assets are being replaced by new development in established communities each year. To help address this issue, we are exploring new ways to encourage property owners to keep identified heritage assets (sometimes called character homes) in your community. One of the tools we are developing to support this is the Heritage Incentives Area program.

The Heritage Incentives Area program will provide eligible property owners with additional development opportunities to encourage them to keep their heritage assets. These incentives will be enabled through amendments to The City of Calgary’s Land Use Bylaw. They will not prohibit new development or restrict demolition. They will provide additional, low-impact development opportunities for heritage assets. This tool is incentive-only and does not protect or designate any buildings as Municipal Historic Resources.

The Heritage Incentives Area applies to homes from Calgary’s early (pre-1945) development period, which substantially maintain their historic style, design and details. These homes were identified through the 2019-2020 Heritage Asset Windshield Survey. Properties meeting the assessment criteria during the Development Application process are referred to as heritage assets.

The Heritage Incentives Area includes the following communities:

  • Altadore
  • Bankview
  • Beltline
  • Bridgeland
  • Capitol Hill
  • Cliff Bungalow/ Mission
  • Crescent Heights

  • Elbow Park
  • Hillhurst/Sunnyside
  • Inglewood
  • Killarney/Glengarry
  • Mount Pleasant
  • Ramsay
  • Renfrew
  • Rosedale

  • Roxboro
  • Scarboro
  • South Calgary
  • Sunalta
  • Tuxedo Park
  • Upper/Lower Mount Royal
  • West Hillhurst
  • Winston Heights/ Mountview

PHASE 1

As part of the Heritage Conservation Tools and Incentives report in 2020, a consultant was hired to create a report with recommendations for the Heritage Incentives Area. The main recommendation, to encourage the retention of character homes, was to create owner-focused incentives. The incentives were to be ones that promote or encourage the adaptive reuse of character homes and context appropriate redevelopment.

The consultants recommended that these incentives fall into two categories:

  • Planning tools (e.g., uses, development size, City procedures)
  • Financial tools (e.g., development fees, property tax incentives)

These recommendations helped identify the potential changes that potentially impacted property owners were asked to provide feedback on during Phase 1 of engagement. They shared feedback on allowable uses, development size and City procedures that may encourage them to keep and reinvest in a character home. A summary is provided below. For more details from Phase 1 of engagement, please read the What We Heard Report.

Those who responded to our survey said that housing and simple home occupation, other housing and visitor-based home-occupation are the uses most likely to add value to character homes. Many respondents felt that housing was the most appropriate use character homes. They were also interested in backyard suites, especially for smaller lots, provided they are used for housing or extra space for visitors.

Some respondents were concerned about increases in density in their communities. These comments were about redevelopment generally, not additions to character homes. Some were also concerned that non-residential uses and additional density may create additional traffic and issues with parking.

For development size, many respondents indicated that they think lot coverage up to 55% will be beneficial to them. Some felt that between 60% and 75% lot coverage may be beneficial to them.

Many respondents felt that the existing 40 sqm/430 sqft permitted addition size will be beneficial for them. Some felt that a 60 sqm/645 sqft or 100 sqm/1076 sqft addition will be beneficial for them.

Respondents also suggested that rear additions, landscaping, development size, and garage suites be considered.

Development permits and financial incentives are two City procedures where changes may reduce financial burdens or increase the efficiency of work being done. Making the development permit process simpler and less expensive were suggested as ways to improve development permits for character homes. There is also interest in financial incentives, like property tax incentives and grants, to encourage the maintenance and modernization of character homes.

October 27, 2022 Property Owner Online Info Session

INCENTIVES AREA MAP

A map showing the boundaries of the Heritage Incentives Area.

A map showing the boundaries of the Heritage Incentives Area.

BACKGROUND

Communities in Calgary have sought area-based heritage conservation tools for a long time. In July 2020, Council approved a series of conservation tools and incentives to offer that area-based approach. The result was the creation of a three-layered approach to heritage conservation based on the needs of the area.

For more information about heritage property tools and incentives, click here.

A character home, in the context of the Heritage Incentive Area, is a property which meets at least the primary criteria of a heritage asset (but may not meet the secondary criteria). This includes the following criteria:

  • Built in 1945 or earlier.
  • Exhibits historical style, design and detail.
  • Retains the overall original form, scale, massing and roof profile (may contain additions that are compatible with and do not overwhelm the original building)
  • Retains a majority (>50%) of the original window pattern and openings on the primary façade (excludes porch enclosures)
  • Does not include added elements that have a significant detrimental effect on the overall historic appearance.

The Heritage Incentives Area is a group of built-out communities where there are a significant number of character homes. The incentives will be comprised of Land Use Bylaw rules that will encourage property owners to keep character homes.

The Heritage Incentives Area program will include a suite of use and development opportunities that will make it financially competitive to keep character homes when compared to demolition and site redevelopment.

Collectively, character homes can add value to how people experience a community and actively engage our understanding of Calgary’s past. Not all character homes are eligible for heritage designations but are still important contributors to the character and identity of a neighbourhood.

The heritage incentives will be implemented through amendments to The City of Calgary Land Use Bylaw. Properties eligible for the heritage incentives will be those located within a qualifying community and identified as a character home before or during the Development Permit application process. As with any application, a pre-application meeting with The City is encouraged.


FAQ

  • A heritage asset is a privately-owned residential building constructed before 1945. It retains most of its original style, design, details and construction materials.
  • A character home, in the context of the Heritage Incentive Area, is a property which meets at least the primary criteria of a heritage asset (but may not meet the secondary criteria). This includes the following criteria:
    • Built in 1945 or earlier.
    • Exhibits historical style, design and detail.
    • Retains the overall original form, scale, massing and roof profile (may contain additions that are compatible with and do not overwhelm the original building)
    • Retains a majority (>50%) of the original window pattern and openings on the primary façade (excludes porch enclosures)
    • Does not include added elements that have a significant detrimental effect on the overall historic appearance.

We are still working to determine if the proposed changes will require a change to the land use of character homes.

It will not. Restrictive Covenants are private agreements registered on title. They are not enforced nor impacted by The City.

The changes will be brought to Council as an amendment to the Land Use Bylaw. This will take place at a Public Hearing Meeting of Council.


NEXT STEPS

Once Phase 2 of engagement is complete the project team will review the feedback shared by participants. Where appropriate, changes to the proposed Heritage Incentives will be made.

The draft Heritage Incentives will be shared with you prior to being presented to Council for their consideration. The approval process will take place in two stages:

  1. The draft land use district changes and Heritage Incentives Area Map will be presented to Council. If Council requests changes, they will be made.
  2. The final land use district changes, in the form of a land use re-designation, will be brought to a Public Hearing of Council for their consideration.