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Lacombe streamlining its heritage preservation efforts

Changes will put more focus on places of interest

City of Lacombe is focusing its heritage efforts on buildings considered “places of interest.”

Under the city’s Land Use Bylaw, all buildings at least 50 years old are included in heritage legislation. Council agreed on Tuesday to streamline and enhance the heritage portions of the bylaw to focus on buildings that have additional historical and heritage merit.

The city plans to review incentives for heritage designation and preservation and while improving public education and community outreach programs led by the Heritage Resource Committee.

“The preservation of our shared history remains a key priority for council,” said Mayor Grant Creasey. “The Heritage Survey and Inventory Reports’ findings will ensure city staff, council and the Heritage Resources Committee have all the tools necessary to properly identify, classify, preserve and celebrate Lacombe’s past.”

In 2022, council approved an initiative to update the Places of Interest List and the related Heritage Inventory and Survey. The goal of the project was to update key heritage management documents while engaging the community and boosting awareness of the community’s historical resources.

The survey added another 125 properties that are at least 50 years, bringing the total number to 550. Out of those, 17 places of interest were identified and added to a list that now has 111 properties.

Changes to the bylaw involved clarifying heritage and architectural terms and definitions while streamlining heritage processes.

The Heritage Resources Committee will review the report’s recommendations to develop heritage education programs and materials. The review will also look for ways to improve incentives to encourage heritage designation and historic building preservation.

Administration will bring recommended changes to the Land Use Bylaw back later this year.

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