Heritage Conservation Districts
A heritage conservation district (HCD) is a tool to conserve and commemorate Winnipeg's built heritage. HCDs are popular nationally and internationally and have existed for over 40 years.
HCD plans are adopted by City Council as part of an HCD By-law. Official designation of an HCD helps ensure that the character and heritage values of a neighbourhood can be conserved over the long term and that development is consistent with objectives and policy directions jointly created by the community and the City of Winnipeg.
An area is eligible to be designated as an HCD if it is of special architectural and historical interest, and at least 50 percent of the proposed character-defining elements are over 40-years-old.
The Heritage Conservation Districts By-law formalizes the process for the nomination, evaluation, designation, and regulation of an HCDs in Winnipeg. It incorporates and reflects up-to-date best practices for heritage conservation and ensures fairness, clarity, and certainty throughout the process of reviewing and listing of potential HCDs.
Once an area is nominated, the applicant must prepare an HCD study. The study sets out the objectives of designation along with the heritage values and proposed character-defining elements to be protected under the designation among other things as required by the HCD By-law.
The HCD study is reviewed by the Historical Buildings and Resources Committee (HBRC) and the Standing Policy Committee on Property and Development, Heritage, and Downtown Development (SPC-PD).
Once an HCD study is accepted, the City prepares an HCD plan in consultation with the community. The plan establishes conservation policies and design guidelines for managing change within the area. An HCD plan may regulate building demolitions and alterations to buildings, yards, and streetscapes. It may also set out design guidelines for a new infill development to fit within the historic context. An HCD plan does not regulate land use or density (e.g. converting a property to a duplex), as these aspects are addressed through zoning processes.
The HCD plan sets out a list of work that requires a heritage permit and an owner must obtain a heritage permit prior to carrying out any work restricted by the plan. A heritage permit application is evaluated in accordance with the HCD Plan’s policies and design guidelines. Heritage staff may also refer an application to the HCD Advisory Committee if they feel it is not compliant with the HCD Plan or if the project is complex.
Once an HCD plan is approved by City Council, it is added as a schedule to the HCD By-law and it applies to every property within the HCD.