Town of Cobourg Heritage Master Plan. Statutory Public Meeting

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1 Town of Cobourg Heritage Master Plan Statutory Public Meeting April 25 th 2016

2 Presentation Overview 1. Introduction 2. Project background and schedule overview 3. Review of strategic direction content 4. Review of HCD Plan content 5. Community consultation 6. Revisions to HMP components 2

3 Heritage Master Plan: What is it? A tool that will help to manage all heritage resources within the Town Includes properties currently designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, as well as other existing and potential heritage resources Strategic document that sets out priorities Includes an implementation plan 3

4 Project Schedule Early 2015 Project kick-off Spring 2015 Community consultation Spring 2015 Prepare and finalize Background Report Summer 2015 Prepare draft Heritage Master Plan Fall 2015 Finalize draft Heritage Master Plan and release for comment. Winter 2016 Finalize Heritage Master Plan based on feedback. Spring 2016 Council adoption of Heritage Master Plan 4

5 Heritage Master Plan Heritage Master Plan (strategic direction) previously released on Town website for community review. Revisions based on community input. Report organization: 1. Introduction 2. Components of a heritage master plan 3. Heritage Master Plan overall direction 4. Implementation strategy 5. Prioritization of action items 5

6 Heritage Master Plan 3.0 Heritage Master Plan overall direction Vision Statement: To conserve and enhance cultural heritage resources within the Town of Cobourg, and manage change so that the community can continue to grow in keeping with the heritage character of Cobourg while also preserving the vibrant small-town feel. 6

7 Heritage Master Plan 3.0 Heritage Master Plan overall direction A total of six goals were identified and refined through the process. The goals form the basis for the detailed implementation recommendations in the Heritage Master plan. Goals 1. Protect and conserve significant cultural heritage resources. 2. Small-town character important to maintain. 3. Downtown as the economic and cultural hub. 4. Waterfront is a significant defining feature. 5. Retaining broad character of neighbourhoods. 6. Compatible investment and new development is encouraged. 7

8 Heritage Master Plan 4.0 Implementation strategy Includes recommended implementation strategy for the Town in order to help ensure appropriate conservation of heritage resources in the future. Organized by the six goals. Includes discussion of each topic area and sub-topic area. Recommendations included for each goal. 8

9 Heritage Master Plan Goal#1: Protect and conserve significant cultural heritage resources over the long term. Recognizes the various mechanisms in place to protect, conserve and manage heritage resources in Cobourg. Some key recommendations include: o o o Recommending the Town investigate other areas of the Town and put in place appropriate measures related to their conservation (focus on broader areas). Recommending that the Town continue to provide information to property owners about heritage conservation. Prepare a formal Terms of Reference for CHIAs. 9

10 Goal #1 Actions 1a. That the Town of Cobourg adopt a dedicated heritage conservation district plan to conserve the character of and manage change within each of the Town s Heritage Conservation Districts. 1b. That the Town of Cobourg implement a review process every 7-10 years related to all heritage conservation districts in order to help ensure that the documents remain up to date with current heritage planning best practices, and that they reflect the needs of the community. 1c. That the Town of Cobourg investigate other areas of the Town for potential study and designation as heritage conservation districts or cultural heritage landscapes, and put in place appropriate protection measures for identified areas. Work has already been undertaken regarding a preliminary assessment of the Corktown area, so this would be a logical starting point. Other areas identified include the area west of the West District, and the area along Division Street between the George Street District and the East District. 1d. That the Town of Cobourg undertake a review of the properties currently within the Municipal Register of Non-Designated properties, and identify properties that are the highest priority to pursue for potential designation under the Ontario Heritage Act. The evaluation criteria utilized should follow Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS) best practices. This should be completed as follow-up to the work in 1c related to the focus on broader areas. 10

11 Goal #1 Actions 1e. That the Town of Cobourg continue to provide information to property owners about the benefits of heritage designation under the Ontario Heritage Act. 1f. That the Town of Cobourg Municipal Heritage Committee continue to review properties, and broader areas such as landscapes within the Town for potential inclusion on the heritage register. This can be undertaken as a follow-up of the work referenced in 1c. 1g. That the Town of Cobourg make archaeological acceptance by the MTCS a condition of draft approval to ensure that appropriate levels of archaeological assessment are conducted prior to any ground disturbance activities and that development activities do not violate the Ontario Heritage Act. 1h. That the Town of Cobourg consider creating an Archaeological Master/Management Plan for the Town. This plan would provide a useful tool for the Town to guide the implementation of management strategies related to archaeological resources. 1i. That the Town of Cobourg prepare a formal Terms of Reference to guide the completion of Cultural Heritage Impact Assessments (CHIAs) for development proposals involving heritage properties. 11

12 Heritage Master Plan Goal #2: The small-town character of Cobourg (typified by the commercial core, low rise development, comfortable streetscapes, and a mix of land uses) is important to maintain and enhance. Recognizes that various features of the Town are important to the small-town character, and recommends matters to pursue. Some key recommendations include: o o Recommending the Town continue to implement policies and guidelines to support compatible new development (e.g. urban design guidelines). Consider initiatives to celebrate Cobourg s small-town character. 12

13 Goal #2 Actions 2a. That the Town of Cobourg continue to implement policies and guidelines, including the Town s urban design guidelines, to support new development that is compatible with the generally low-mid rise scale and small-town character of Cobourg. 2b. That the Town of Cobourg consider preparation of a Town-wide landscape strategy in order to focus on matters such as street trees and other landscaping initiatives. 2c. That the Town of Cobourg consider branding and marketing initiatives aimed at celebrating the small-town character of Cobourg. This could be done for the benefit of Town residents but also for tourism related purposes. 2d. That the Town of Cobourg continue to provide information to the community with respect to heritage matters, and explore possible partnerships with other like-minded groups within the community. 13

14 Heritage Master Plan Goal #3: It is important to have the downtown as the economic and cultural hub of the Town to retain the small-town character. Recognizes the function of downtown as the hub of Cobourg, and recommends ways to continue and enhance the function. Some key recommendations include: o o o Completing and implementing the Downtown Master Plan. Encouraging offices and community facilities to locate Downtown. Implementing enhanced signage and wayfinding initiatives. 14

15 Goal #3 Actions 3a. That the Town of Cobourg complete and implement the Downtown Master Plan to further strengthen the Downtown s role. 3b. That the Town of Cobourg consider the reuse of older buildings (especially near downtown) when seeking additional office and institutional space. 3c. That the Town of Cobourg encourage businesses and government agencies to adopt a heritage first policy when seeking additional office and institutional space within the Town (especially near downtown). 3d. That the Town of Cobourg investigate opportunities for recognition as a heritage community, possibly through awards submissions. 15

16 Goal #3 Actions 3e. That the Town of Cobourg implement enhanced signage and wayfinding initiatives in the downtown area. Potential initiatives could include interpretative signage celebrating Cobourg s history, signage helping people get to important destinations within the downtown, and signage establishing linkages between the downtown and adjoining areas. 3f. That the Town of Cobourg consider the preparation of a tourism strategy that identifies Cobourg s heritage as a draw for people to visit, in order to assist with focusing efforts and provide a clear path for tourism initiatives particularly related to heritage. 3g. That the Town of Cobourg consider a Downtown location when considering the establishment of additional cultural facilities within the Town, in order to complement existing facilities and destinations. 3h. That the Town of Cobourg continue promote the Downtown as a place to host festivals, cultural events and other activities in Cobourg. 16

17 Heritage Master Plan Goal #4: The waterfront is a significant defining feature of the community that provides a critical link to the downtown and an important recreational area. Recognizes that the waterfront and downtown in close proximity is an enviable asset that it should be strengthened and celebrated. Some key recommendations include: o o Recommending the Town continue to implement the Parks Master Plan direction related to the waterfront. A strategy to improve linkages between the downtown and waterfront as a way to ensure both areas remain vibrant. 17

18 Goal #4 Actions 4a. That the Town of Cobourg continue to implement the Parks Master Plan direction related to the waterfront as a way to ensure the importance of the recreational area is maintained. 4b. That the Town of Cobourg continue to ensure a coordinated planning approach between the waterfront and the Downtown through the implementation of the Downtown Master Plan. 4c. That the Town of Cobourg work on a coordinated strategy to improve linkages between the downtown and waterfront areas as a way to ensure that both areas remain vibrant and that visitors to one area also visit the other. 18

19 Heritage Master Plan Goal #5: Retaining the broader character of the streetscape and neighbourhoods is equally important to conserving individual buildings. Recognizes that Cobourg s character comes not only through the individual buildings but the overall character of many areas. Some key recommendations include: o o Investigating a streetscape management plan for key streets within the Town to ensure the character is conserved. Continuing to implement a street tree maintenance and management program to ensure the health of street trees. 19

20 Goal #5 Actions 5a. That the Town of Cobourg include a review of broader landscape features such as neighbourhoods, farms, schools and parks in the work undertaken as part of Recommendation 1c in order to identify potential cultural heritage landscapes, and put in place appropriate protection measures. 5b. That the Town of Cobourg investigate the possibility of implementing a streetscape management plan for key streets within the Town to ensure that activities undertaken within the public realm conserve the character of the various streetscapes. 5c. That the Town of Cobourg continue to implement a street tree maintenance and management program to ensure that street trees remain healthy and are replaced as needed. 20

21 Heritage Master Plan Goal #6: Investment and new development that is compatible with the character of the surrounding area should be encouraged and facilitated. Recognizes that Cobourg will continue to grow and evolve, but that change must be compatible with the character of surrounding areas. Some key recommendations include: o o Reviewing current initiative programs in order to understand where improvements can be made (coordinate with Downtown CIP). Working with other municipalities and the Province to address concerns related to the tax benefit of vacant upper floors. 21

22 Goal #6 Actions 6a. That the Town of Cobourg undertake a comprehensive review of existing incentives programs in order to understand where improvements can be made in order to help program up-take. 6b. That the Town of Cobourg complete the preparation and implementation of the Downtown Community Improvement Plan, including implementation of appropriate incentives. 6c. That the Town of Cobourg work with other municipalities and the Province in order to address concerns related to the benefit of reduced property taxes in upper floors of downtown buildings. 6d. That the Town of Cobourg complete the review of areas where there is a discrepancy between the existing zoning and the direction contained within the applicable Heritage Conservation District Plan, and undertake a housekeeping amendment to correct the discrepancy. 22

23 Heritage Master Plan 5.0 Prioritization of action items Various action items broken down into timeframes to assist with implementation direction for the Heritage Master Plan. Categories: Immediate action items (<3 years): 16 items Short-term action items (3-5 years): 8 action items Medium-long term action items (5-10 years): 13 action items 23

24 Cobourg s HCD Plans 24

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26 Purpose of HCD Plans Provides guidance on the management, care and protection of the District s heritage character and attributes. Intended to be used by: building owners / business owners, owners of vacant land, Town staff, MHC. Primarily implemented through: Review and decision-making on heritage permits. Guidelines that provide the framework for advice to property owners as well as provide for consistent decision making. 26

27 Components of the HCD Plans All four District Plans have a similar layout for ease of use by the community. HCD Plans feature three main parts: Part I: Introduction, District significance, heritage attributes, objectives of District Plan. Part II: Policies and guidelines for managing change within the District and guiding new development. Part III: Exempt alterations and classes of alterations. 27

28 HCD Plan overview Part I HCD Framework Introduction Background about District, policy requirements, guiding principles. District Significance, Heritage Attributes and Objectives Detailed description of heritage significance of the District. List of heritage attributes (qualities and features of District). HCD goals: conserve heritage character and attributes, encourage decision-making that respects cultural heritage value, manage change. HCD objectives: provide guidance for more specific action, and to address the kinds of change anticipated. Basis for HCD Plan. 28

29 HCD Plan overview Part II Guidelines for managing change Alterations and additions: Addresses matters such as foundations / walls, roofs, windows, entrances, signs, form of additions. Infill development: New construction is permitted but must be compatible with the character of the District. Demolition of buildings: Not permitted for buildings that contribute to the historic character of the District, except in exceptional circumstances Landscape conservation guidance: Guidelines for public property and private property. Accessibility: Modifications permitted to improve accessibility subject to policies of the District Plan. Green energy and sustainability: Green energy projects (e.g. solar panels) permitted and encouraged. Guidance provided related to location. 29

30 HCD Plan overview Part III Exempt alterations and classes of alterations The Ontario Heritage Act provides for exempting certain types of alterations from requiring a heritage permit within a District. Part III includes a listing of activities that do not require approval of a heritage permit: typically minor repairs and changes such as roof material, lighting, some landscaping, fences and decks in rear yards, painting, maintenance. Exemptions for private properties, public realm properties, emergency work. 30

31 Community consultation efforts 31

32 Revisions based on community input Revisions include: Transition to the use of Goals instead of Themes (HMP). Addition of Executive Summary and Glossary (HMP). Clarification of intent related to signs (Commercial Core HCD Plan). Separation of guidance regarding views into policies and guidelines (all HCD Plans). Clarification that exemptions are implemented like policies (all HCD Plans). Minor wording revisions to all documents. 32

33 Where do we go from here? Next steps: Further comments received tonight will be considered and incorporated as appropriate. Final versions of Heritage Master Plan and HCD Plans to be considered and adopted by Town Council. HCD Plans subject to appeal period prior to coming into force. 33

34 Thank you! 34

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