Historic districts suggested in downtown cores in Coleman, Blairmore and Bellevue
By Joni MacFarlane
Editor, Crowsnest Pass Promoter
If proposed changes go through, new construction in downtown community cores will have to adhere to standards of historic style and design.
Revisions to the land use bylaw include recommended Historic Commercial Areas Overlay Districts (HCOD) in Coleman, Blairmore and Bellevue.
An open house held by the municipality last month included a brief overview of the changes that would regulate development and architectural guidelines on new buildings, renovations and additions in downtown districts.
According to Development Officer Ryan Dyck, the municipality is contemplating overlay districts in the downtown areas “to promote and protect the significance of historic commercial areas and areas immediately adjacent to historic commercial areas by ensuring that new development and façade alterations are designed and constructed in a manner that respects the sense of place evoked by these areas.”
Any new construction or renovations, alterations or additions to existing buildings on lands located within the districts would be referred to the Municipal Heritage Board for their review along with the Development Officer’s.
“New construction shall be of a style, design and quality that respects and compliments existing buildings in the historic commercial area,” reads Dyck’s report. “Buildings shall be strongly encouraged to employ historical themes as identified in the Design Guidelines for the Crowsnest Pass Historic District document.”
Architectural and design features that of concern are those that are visible to the street and to the public such as signage, building profiles, awnings and facades.
Residential homes within the district will be allowed to continue as they are, including new construction, additions and renovations, but redevelopment of residential parcels within the districts will be “strongly encouraged to employ historical themes and to be designed in a style and manner complementary to adjacent historical buildings.”