New Brunswick

Fredericton looks at altering rules for building in heritage area

Fredericton is looking for ways to change the city’s bylaws for developing in the St. Anne’s Point Heritage Preservation Area after a subdivision on Waterloo Row prompted anger from many people in the neighbourhood.

Residents say city's review of developing in the St. Anne's Point Heritage Preservation Area is too narrow

Fredericton officials presented four options to change the city's bylaw for developing in the St. Anne's Point Heritage Preservation Area on Wednesday night. (Daniel McHardie/CBC)

Fredericton is looking for ways to change the city's bylaws for developing in the St. Anne's Point Heritage Preservation Area after a subdivision on Waterloo Row prompted anger from many people in the neighbourhood.

The city held a public meeting on Wednesday to get public input on changes to bylaws governing developing in the heritage area, which stretches along the St. John River and includes Waterloo Row.

Historic Waterloo Row is located inside the St. Anne's Point Heritage Preservation Area. (Daniel McHardie/CBC)
Coun. Kate Rogers, who represents the ward that covers Waterloo Row, said council wants to address the concerns that were raised earlier this year.

Concern over developing in the heritage area was ignited after a homeowner applied to add a second house to 58 Waterloo Row. A petition was started in the hopes of blocking the development and councillors, including Rogers, spoke out against the proposal.

But the subdivision was ultimately approved.

That prompted the examination of the bylaw governing property developments in the historic section of downtown Fredericton.

City staff initially presented three options to altering the bylaws but added a fourth by the end of the meeting.

The three initial options were:

  • Leave the bylaw as it is, requiring only 18 metres of frontage for each lot in the heritage area 
  • Require lots to have 35 metres of frontage in the heritage area, up from 18 metres
  • Require each lot in the heritage area specifically on Waterloo Row to have 35 metres of frontage

The fourth option, which was added later, would require 35 metres of frontage for each lot on Waterloo Row and 25 metres for lots in the rest of the heritage preservation area. 

There were concerns raised by several people at Wednesday's meeting that the three options presented by the city were too limited.

The owners of 58 Waterloo Row ignited a debate over development in the city's heritage preservation area after getting approval to subdivide their property. (Julianne Hazlewood/CBC)
Bernadet Samulski said she felt a broader look at protecting Fredericton's heritage is needed.

"The heritage that we're trying to preserve is poorly defined in the heritage bylaw, therefore it's very difficult when anything new happens to decide what is acceptable and what isn't," said Samulski.

"I think we need a review of the heritage bylaw, except this is a meeting about zoning."

Comments will be taken to council for a decision in the coming weeks.

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