City committee to hear plans for Heritage Conservation Districts in Winnipeg
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A report coming to a city committee on Monday may result in entire neighbourhoods being able to receive heritage designation.
The city is recommending that councillors on the downtown development committee allow the public service to further develop criteria for creating Heritage Conservation Districts, including a pilot project in the community of Armstrong’s Point, which is located just east of Misericordia Hospital and is also known as ‘The Gates.’
Coun. Jenny Gerbasi (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry) said many cities have them and Winnipeg has “several areas” that could potentially become Heritage Conservation Districts (HCDs) in the future.
“It’s a way of preserving the character of a very special area or neighbourhood that has a lot of historic resources in it,” said Gerbasi, adding that, like any planning tool, it should be developed in consultation with those in the neighbourhoods.
“The residents of Armstrong’s Point are very excited, they want to see this move forward, they’re really enthusiastic to work on this.”
Gerbasi said if the committee approves the city report, the next step would be to hire a consultant to work through the HCD designation of Armstong’s Point so that it can be used as a model for other neighbourhoods.
The report states that Winnipeg has seen “a number of forerunners” to HCDs, such as the Exchange District and Boulevard Provencher.
“The heritage character of these areas is managed through zoning bylaws, although they have never been officially designated ‘heritage districts,’” states the report.
“Nonetheless, they demonstrate support and interest in HCDs exists locally, and the public service has experienced an increase in inquiries of this nature in recent years.”
Gerbasi brushed off concerns that the HCD process could be viewed as anti-development, adding that “having plans in place that have been vetted properly with all the stakeholders and the residents and all of the people involved, it actually makes the community better.”
“In the case of other neighbourhood plans we’ve had, it actually enables development much more because people know what they can and can’t do,” Gerbasi added.