New Brunswick

Advocates push for more heritage protection in Fredericton's municipal plan

Heritage advocates in Fredericton are worried a proposed municipal plan doesn't pay enough attention to protecting the city's heritage.

Residents express disappointment in city's handling of Officers' Square project and historic Risteen building

Coun. Bruce Grandy, chair of the city's development committee, said the city needs to work on its communication with the public for major projects. (Ed Hunter/CBC)

Heritage advocates in Fredericton are worried a proposed municipal plan doesn't pay enough attention to protecting the city's heritage.

Three people spoke out at Monday night's city council meeting about their disappointment in the city's handling of recent heritage issues, including the revitalization of Officers' Square in downtown Fredericton and the demolition of the historic Risteen building last fall.

"I take it that the attitude at the moment here is now clear, that you have no interest in promoting the heritage in this city," Richard Bird told city council.

Bird, who is the president of the Fredericton Heritage Trust, said he wasn't surprised there was a lack of heritage preservation in the city's new plan.

'Sending a message' about heritage buildings

He also cited the destruction of two buildings on Regent Street last year, that will make way for a new office building in the city's downtown. 

The Risteen building was torn down last fall to make way for an apartment complex. (Gary Moore/CBC)

"And when that motion passed, his worship gave a thumbs up. And I thought, that sends a message of what we think about heritage buildings," he said.

The city has been developing the new municipal plan since 2016. The plan reveals how the city will grow and develop over the next two decades.

Plan looks at city's needs

The city has held several public consultations over the past three years regarding the new plan. 

Coun. Bruce Grandy, chair of the city's development committee, said the plan takes a high-level view of the city's needs. Meanwhile, secondary plans will offer more specifics on issues such as heritage. 

"These secondary plans are really more important than anything we're really doing because they tell you what a neighbourhood is going to look like," he said.

"They're going to look at the amenities within a neighborhood. How it should be structured, whether it's a heritage neighbourhood or whether it's a more progressive neighbourhood."

Those secondary plans include the city centre plan and the Main Street urban design plan. 

The municipal plan is expected to go through third reading in two weeks. 

About the Author

Lauren Bird is a journalist at CBC New Brunswick. You can contact her at lauren.bird@cbc.ca

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