A Heritage Conservation Plan (HCP) is a guiding document which explains why a place such as the Riverview Lands is significant to a community, and how that significance can be retained through any changes that may occur over time. It facilitates sustainable conservation and stewardship decisions by providing an understanding of what matters and why before major decisions are made. A HCP requires the consideration of all of the heritage values of the place when making recommendations about site management.
The result of a HCP process is a set of strategies designed to guide both the short-term and long-term management of the heritage resources on the site. Public input is essential to ensure that the community’s full range of heritage values are understood and taken into account when these strategies are being developed.
The heritage conservation planning process has four phases:
Phase 1 – Understand the Historic Place
This first stage of the planning process is intended to allow decision makers to have a clear understanding of what the place is, what its current context is in terms of physical and planning issues, and how it has evolved over time to become what it is today.
Phase 2 – Evaluate Significance
Understanding the heritage values and significance of a historic place is integral to guiding the development of policies in the HCP. The evaluation of significance is guided by community input about the values of a place. This information is synthesized in a document called the Statement of Significance, which identifies the heritage values and character-defining elements of the place.
Phase 3 – Assess Potential Impacts
As well as physical changes to a heritage place, rules, bylaws, building code and other factors related to planning and building regulation can have an effect on heritage values. These potential impacts must be addressed in the conservation plan in order to mitigate any possible negative consequences of conservation interventions.
Phase 4 – Develop Conservation Strategies
Effective conservation strategies lay out the approaches to minimize the effect on identified heritage values of changes to the place.
The BC Heritage Branch process is a synthesis of current best practices in heritage conservation planning throughout the world. The Riverview HCP process follows these best practices, as well as being guided by the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Heritage Places in Canada.
To learn more about HCPs and best practices download http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/ftp/heritage/external/!publish/web/Conservation_Planning_Methodology.pdf
To view the Standards and Guidelines visit www.historicplaces.ca/en/pages/standards-normes.aspx