Close to 100 residents attended a public workshop Feb. 10 to explore the potential of creating a Heritage Conservation District on the Mount Nemo Plateau.
A preliminary study of Mount Nemo by Heritage Consultant Andre Scheinman found that the area had the potential to be a heritage district for both its landscape features (lot patterns, views, landscape) and its historic buildings, some of which already have formal heritage designation.
The next step in the process would be to review the public input and determine whether there is interest in proceeding to a more detailed study. Staff are expected to report back to council with a proposal. If council authorizes a study, it will take about 12-18 months before a formal bylaw would come back, outlining exactly which features would be covered by the Heritage District.
A show of hands at the public meeting was 2/3 in favour of proceeding with further discussion on a heritage conservation district. At the same time, a number of residents raised valid concerns regarding extra layers of government bureaucracy (residents already deal with greenbelt restrictions, Niagara Escarpment Commission, Conservation Halton, Halton Region and city rules, among others.) They were worried about blanket heritage designation and the impact on private homes. Some wondered whether a Heritage Conservation District would achieve the ultimate goal of protecting the landscape. These are issues that must be explored before any decisions are made.
My Take: I’m supportive of continuing the discussion about how a Heritage Conservation District might enhance our ability to protect the rural landscape. There are more questions than answers at this point. One of my questions is whether a bylaw could be scoped to apply to the landscape, and not the buildings. I’m looking forward to continued public dialogue on this issue.
Your Take: What are your views on using a Heritage Conservation District to protect the Mount Nemo plateau? Leave a comment below.