Heritage Funding Program set up for private owners!
The Municipality of West Hants is making a small grant available to private owners of municipally registered heritage properties to help them in the preservation of this valuable resource. Funding will be considered for exterior conservation work such as painting and cladding, roof replacement and repair, and repair and replacement of windows and doors.
This program is comparable to the provincial grants program available to properties owned by non-profit or community groups. The West Hants program ensures that all registered heritage properties have access to some degree of financial support.
The Municipality of West Hants has a Heritage Advisory Committee (HAC) which advises Council on matters related to municipal heritage property registration and heritage issues in general. Like the Planning Advisory Committee, the HAC comprises citizen members as well as Councillors. The HAC meets on an as-needed basis, usually prior to a regularly scheduled Planning Advisory Committee meeting.
Heritage Property By-law
(185 KB) was adopted by the Municipality of the District of West Hants in December 1992. The purpose of the by-law is to provide for identification, preservation and protection of heritage buildings, streetscapes and areas of historic and cultural value.
Applications for heritage property registration are considered by the Heritage Advisory Committee, which in turn makes a recommendation to Council. The applicant is responsible for conducting all necessary research to allow Council to consider whether a property should be registered. Properties are evaluated for their history and culture, architecture, integrity and relationship to the community. Registration of a property is not based solely on the age of the building. If Council accepts the recommendation of the HAC for registration, a Notice of Recommendation is sent to the owner of the property with a copy to the local Registry of Deeds. From the date of this notice, the property can not be substantially altered on the exterior or demolished while the notice is in effect. If Council does not make a decision to register the property within 120 days, or decides not to register the property, the limitation on substantial alterations or demolition is removed.
Before making a decision to register a property, Council must provide the property owner with an opportunity to be heard. Council can not register the property until after 30 days from the date of the Notice of Recommendation. After the public hearing and the 30 day period ends, Council may register the property within 120 days from the date of the Notice of Registration (that is 90 days from the end of the 30 day period). Council does this by sending a Notice of Recommendation to the property owner and a copy to the local Registry of Deeds. From this point on, the property can not be substantially altered on the exterior or demolished without approval of Council.
A substantial alteration is generally defined as any change that alters in an important way the exterior appearance of a registered heritage property, and may include any change in the exterior surface material, any addition visible from an adjoining or adjacent street, or any alteration of a feature identified as especially interesting or unique. Interior alterations are not regulated.
Registration is permanently attached to the title of the property and transfers from owner to owner, however, it is possible to deregister a property, should it be required. Owners of registered heritage properties may be eligible for financial assistance from the province.
Any costs associated with the research and registration of the property are the responsibility of the applicant. These costs may include research time at the Registry of Deeds, and the Provincial Archives; costs of registration of the Notices of Recommendation and Registration at the Registry of Deeds. The costs for plaques denoting a Registered Municipal Heritage Property are covered by the Municipality.
Application is made by completing the application form and returning it together with the application fee. If Council does not register the property, the fee will be returned. Any additional research should be attached to the application form at the time of submission.
Questions and comments regarding an application, or the procedure for registration, should be directed to the Planning Department. You can contact us at 798-6900.