PUSLINCH – The Township of Puslinch is in the process of creating a municipal heritage register that lists properties of historical interest.
In March, township staff brought forward a report to council detailing the project. The township’s heritage committee developed a list of properties to be included in the heritage register.
Deputy Clerk Jeff Bunn and heritage committee member Mary Tivy presented at a public information meeting on May 26.
Affected property owners have been mailed a letter advising them that their property is historically of interest and can be added to the register. One hundred and seven properties within the township of Puslinch are included on the register.
Council plans to approve the draft heritage register at its June 16 meeting, as no formal decisions were made at the public meeting.
After the public consultation period, the proposed register will go to council for approval and the approved register will be posted to the township’s website.
Once council has approved and the properties are added to the register, confirmation will be provided to property owners impacted by a change to the register within 30 days of council approval.
All properties listed on the draft heritage register will have “non-designated” status.
Non-designated properties, often referred to as “listed” properties, are not regulated by a municipal bylaw but must be approved by council for inclusion on the register.
Listed properties have interim protection from demolition and require 60 days’ notice of intention to demolish or remove a building or structure.
Non-designated status does not restrict building permit applications, and Bunn said residents living in “listed” properties can still renovate their homes as long as the attributes of the heritage property are protected.
Property owners will be notified of council’s decision on the heritage register. The heritage register will be published on puslinch.ca and a Puslinch heritage virtual tour will be launched on the “Engage Puslinch” website.
“This easy-to-use tool will allow users to print a map of the community and will identify heritage properties, providing a unique and free activity for those interested,” Bunn said.
“This tool will become available following the approval of the heritage register and once photo release consent forms have been returned to the township from impacted property owners.”
Bunn said if council approves the draft heritage register, staff will notify property owners of the decision and request consent to use a photo of their property on the virtual tour.
“The register of cultural heritage properties will recognize properties of cultural heritage value in the community, foster civic identity and pride for drawing attention to heritage and development of the community, promote knowledge, and provide easily accessible information about heritage value,” said Bunn.
“Most importantly though, the heritage register serves as a tool to protect heritage cultural assets, by placing restrictions on demolitions without the approval of council.”
Bunn said there is a way for residents to object to having their property put on the heritage register.
“If you are looking to have your property not put on the list, you can reach out to myself,” he said.
“The full list that’s being recommended by the committee will go forward to council on June 16 for their consideration.”
Bunn said at that point, council will be able to pull out any property that they believe should not be added to the list and will be provided a list of any objections.
Tivy explained the advantages of having a property on the heritage register.
“The advantage is to the community, but to the property owner it provides a sense of worth of the property,” she said.
“Heritage properties have been shown to increase their value relative to non-listed properties.”