Support for Municipal Heritage Committees
- Would you encourage Council to provide your Municipal Heritage Committee with the support and resources it needs to update these older designation bylaws, where required?
Yes, I would encourage Council to work with the Municipal Heritage Committee to discuss, review and revise the bylaws as necessary to ensure that we are enabling the preservation of heritage properties in our City.
- Would you encourage Council to support your Municipal Heritage Committee’s requests for Listing non-designated properties on the Municipal Heritage Register?
Yes. I understand that a lot of great work in this area has already occurred through the initiation of the Heritage Planner role. In addition, activities through the Heritage Committee have also begun to help property owners see the heritage value in their land/homes. I would encourage Council to continue working with both the Heritage Planner and the Heritage Committee to help citizens understand and appreciate the value of having their properties listed.
Financial Incentives for Heritage Conservation
- Would you encourage Council to ensure your Municipality has a heritage property grant program, or, if it already has one, to ensure that the grant levels are adequate?
I am aware that the City of Waterloo has implemented a Community Improvement Program (CIP) which is designed to assist property owners in rehabilitation efforts. I would want to understand from the Heritage Committee and the citizens how this program is working so far and if modifications need to be made what would they be.
- Would you encourage Council to ensure your Municipality has a heritage property tax refund program and that the funding levels are adequate?
A heritage property tax refund is but one incentive to support heritage conservation efforts. I would want to learn from the City’s Heritage Planner and Heritage Committee what incentives they believe would deliver the best value to the City’s heritage conservation efforts and provide the most effective solutions.
Modern Tools to Conserving our Built Heritage
- Would you encourage Council to ensure your Municipality is using all the tools at its disposal to support the conservation of our built heritage resources?
Yes. I am encouraged to learn that Council has approved a six-goal Built Heritage Strategy to guide our city initiatives. I’m also understanding that the city is already pursuing Cultural Heritage Landscape efforts. These two-initiatives coupled with the implementation of the Heritage Planner role and the great work of the Heritage Committee I believe put Council in a strong position to be able to utilize best practices and available tools to support the conservation of our heritage resources.
Heritage as an Environmental Priority for Municipally-Owned Buildings
- Would you encourage your Council to give priority to the continuing use or adaptive re-use of existing buildings (identified as heritage or not) in their facility and capital planning; and where buildings are determined to be surplus to needs, use best efforts to dispose of the building/facility to other public or private sector owners for re-use or sensitive redevelopment?
Absolutely, Council should be encouraged to continue to give priority to use or adaptive re-use buildings. Re-using or repurposing existing buildings helps our city in so many ways – preserving heritage, decreasing demolition and waste, creating space opportunities for organizations who might not have been able to find affordable space within the city and the list goes on.
Relieving Property Tax Pressures on Heritage Buildings
- Would you support your Council in urging the Province to work with municipalities to ensure that property taxes and other provincial policies are not creating demolition pressures on heritage properties?
Preserving the heritage of our City, Region and Province takes cooperation at all levels. Citizens along with municipal, regional and provincial governments must work together to look at policies and incentives that encourage the maintenance rather than demolition of heritage properties.
What are some examples of your heritage engagement thus far, and if elected, what are the first few local heritage issues you would like to address?
I grew up in a century old home. My family worked with the town council to ensure that any modifications we were making to our family home were in keeping with heritage preservation guidelines at the time. I understand and appreciate the importance of preserving the history of communities through its buildings and properties.
Even though I’ve not had the opportunity to be actively involved in the Heritage Committee in the City of Waterloo, I would welcome the opportunity to learn from the Heritage Planner and the Heritage Committee the priority heritage issues that Council should consider.
Have you had any experience working with/for your local Heritage Community? If so, explain.
As mentioned above, I’ve not had the opportunity to work with our City of Waterloo Heritage Committee and would welcome an opportunity to do so.
Tell us about a successful heritage project in your community.
We have numerous examples of successful heritage projects throughout our community. The successful heritage project that is most relevant to the citizens of Ward 1 I believe is the Rummelhardt School House which is used by the K-W Bilingual School. The rehabilitation and expansion of this property has preserved the uniqueness of the heritage school while adding current day spaces to enhance the learning environment for the students and teachers at the school.
What opportunities exist to better support heritage in your local community?
The Heritage Committee has undertaken a number of initiatives to help preserve and promote the heritage of our community. I believe that we could also consider things like plaques on heritage buildings and walking tours that show citizens and visitors the richness of the history in our community. We live in a progressive technology community, lets capitalize on that to promote and raise awareness of our heritage. I’m sure that with our community partners we could create a gps enabled app that would allow people to take a self-guided tour of our community!