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Delta Heritage Strategy update sets up conservation fund for homeowners

Other changes to the Heritage Strategy were Ladner-centric, prompting response from mayor
An illustration of the St. Mungo Cannery in North Delta. The illustration, which depicts one of 11 registered heritage properties in North Delta, hangs inside Trinity Lutheran Church, also a registered heritage property. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Delta is getting an upgrade to its heritage strategy, after council approved three bylaw changes on Monday, May 29.

Under the approved bylaws, new minimum maintenance standards for heritage properties have been put into place, as well as a levy on all new developments which will help fund maintenance projects by heritage property homeowners.

The five per cent heritage conservation levy will apply to all new building permits. According to the staff report submitted to council, Delta collected $2.2 million from building permits in 2016 — had the levy already neen in place, the conservation fun would have gained $111,830.

According to Counc. Heather King, chair of the Corporation of Delta’s heritage advisory commission, the fund will support property owners “who want to keep their heritage buildings up to snuff, or [want to do] a variety of things we have yet to establish in that level of detail.”

In addition to the creation of the levy and fund, the heritage strategy update also looked at the historic Ladner Village. The third bylaw that was approved by council created a one-year heritage control period around Ladner Village, preventing anyone from altering or removing a building in the heritage inventory without a heritage permit.

“This is one part of our community, basically,” Mayor Lois Jackson said about the Ladner-centric heritage strategy update. “I know that much of this is overriding in terms of guidelines and protection … but we’re pretty much centred in [Ladner], particularly where we’re talking about conservation areas.”

For example, the new Heritage Strategy will see an updated version of Ladner’s heritage property inventory, something Jackson wants to have across Delta.

“I would hope that we could get a location map of all the heritage buildings that we have designated in Delta, particularly Tsawwassen and North Delta,” she said. “I hope we can determine which of these buildings are important and which are not.”

The Corporation of Delta website has a list of registered heritage properties in Delta. Of the 70 properties listed, 11 are in North Delta.

The heritage strategy, which outlines Delta’s goals for heritage conservation and programs, was last updated in 2014. The May 29 update looks forward from 2017 to 2027.