Heritage Resource Action Plan

Heritage_Photo_Banff_Downtown

Banff’s built heritage resources play a critical role in the unique and diverse fabric of the town enjoyed and valued by visitors and residents alike. Despite this value, heritage assets continue to be under pressure, with many demolished or at risk, despite the rich history in the area and the dedication of the Banff Heritage Corporation and local heritage advocates.

The Town currently has tools in place to encourage conservation, such as a robust heritage inventory, and for those who pursue Municipal Historic Resource Designation, a Grant In Aid of Municipal Property Taxes, and Matching Restoration/Rehabilitation Grant. Although this incents some owners, the financial programs are undersubscribed, and the loss of heritage buildings is still a major concern.

The Heritage Resource Action Plan identifies actionable solutions to further achieve the Town’s built heritage conservation goals over the next 5 to 10 years. These include policy changes, financial incentives, non-monetary encouragement, planning tools, facilitation services and partnerships with other organizations. All building types with heritage value within the Town of Banff’s boundaries, for example residential, institutional, commercial, are in scope.

The Heritage Resource Action Plan was scheduled to be presented to Council at the regular meeting on February 12, 2024. The agenda package with report materials can be found here (item 7.4). Council did not get to this item during the meeting, so it is now planned as unfinished business at the March 11, 2024 meeting.

The Heritage Resource Action Plan was before the Governance & Finance Committee on October 23, 2023 and the following motions were passed:

FIN23-172

That with respect to Item 7.1, Request for Direction: Heritage Resource Action Plan, the following be approved:

That Governance and Finance Committee recommend that Council:

Adopt the proposed Heritage Resource Action Plan, as amended, to guide the implementation of tools and tactics that will enable the Town of Banff to encourage built heritage conservation over the next five to ten years.

FIN23-173

That with respect to Item 7.1, Request for Direction: Heritage Resource Action Plan, the following be approved:

  • That Governance and Finance Committee direct Administration to return as part of the 2024 Service Review Process with new service level requests for those tools and tactics that cannot be accommodated within existing resources.

FIN23-169

That with respect to Item 7.1, Request for Direction: Heritage Resource Action Plan, the following be approved:

  • That the Governance and Finance Committee direct Administration to remove the following section of the proposed Heritage Resource Action Plan:
    • P7 Town of Banff or Banff Heritage Corporation purchase heritage properties

As part of the Town of Banff’s 2024 Service Review process, we made progress towards the implementation of the following two tactics:

  • F9 Increase grant amount and frequency for heritage conservation, and
  • F10 Grants for remediation or retrofitting – energy efficiency

On January 17, 2024, the Town of Banff budget was approved with these tactics included. The heritage grant funding increase from $25,000 for residential properties and $50,000 for non-residential properties to $125,000 per property was approved. The change to the Heritage Resource Management Policy that would allow for the change in grant funding was planned to be before Council at the Feb. 12, 2024 regular meeting. (item 7.5 in the agenda package). Council did not get to this item so it is now planned for the regular meeting on March 11 as unfinished business. Through the Town of Banff’s Clean Energy Improvement Program, administration will offer specific enhanced rebates for municipal historic resources, in line with F10. If you are interested in more information for either of these programs, please contact Kathleen.Gallagher@Banff.ca or 403.762.1102.