The City of Campbell River is looking to strengthen the protection of two of its most significant heritage properties: The Haig-Brown House at the north end of town and Sybil Andrews Cottage in the south.
The Sybil Andrews property is already on the city’s Community Heritage Register, but that’s only the second-highest layer of heritage protection available to the city. The Haig Brown property, surprisingly, has no official heritage designation.
The first level of heritage recognition a property can gain is to be placed on the city’s Community Heritage Inventory, which “informally identifies heritage resources.”
The city currently has no properties on this list.
The second level is the Community Heritage Register, which officially recognizes a property’s heritage value, but offers it no actual protection. The Sybil Andrews property and Willow Point Hall are the only two properties in the city currently on the register.
A third level, Community Heritage Designation, would constitute legal protection of the property and prevent changes to be made without a heritage alteration permit. This is the level the city is looking to get to with both the Sybil Andrews property and the Haig-Brown property.
In order to get there, however, they need to create a Heritage Designation Bylaw, and the act of doing so requires that a property have a Statement of Significance prepared, which is a lengthy and extensive process.
Thankfully, the Sybil Andrews property had one made before it was placed on the register back in 2008, and the city’s recreation and culture supervisor, Michele Sirett, informed council at the Jan. 25 meeting that she has also completed one as part of her graduate studies at UVic for the Haig-Brown property in case it was ever needed.
The provincial government also has to sign off on the city’s proposed Heritage Designation Bylaw before it can be enacted.
“The first thing we need to do is get the Haig-Brown property on the register,” says Mayor Andy Adams, who put forth the motion to move forward with these heritage designations. “I’m suprised it wasn’t already on it.”
While that is happening, the draft bylaw will be prepared and circulated to the Museum at Campbell River, who oversees the Haig-Brown property and the Sybil Andrews Heritage Society, who oversees the other, as well as the city’s Community Planning Advisory Committee.
The city is hoping to have all this done in time for council’s Feb. 8 meeting so the bylaw can be submitted to the province by its Feb. 20 deadline.