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Heritage register could be in Cranbrook’s future

In B.C. there are now a number of communities that have adopted a community heritage register, and some local residents hope that Cranbrook will soon join that list.

Dave Humphrey, in a correspondence to council, said he hopes to see the city begin to develop the Cranbrook Community Heritage Register. The register is an official listing of historic places identified as having significant heritage value or character.

Back in 2003, a resolution for the creation of the Cranbrook Community Register was passed by the council of the time, but Humphrey said, the register still has no entries.

Over the past few weeks Humphrey said he's contacted communities across B.C. that have developed Community Heritage Registers.

In each case Humphrey received responses on how they run the registers. With that information, he hoped to present the results to either council or the Wellness and Heritage Committee.

Council received the information and forwarded it to that committee.

Mayor Wayne Stetski said the register is an important step forward for the community.

Coun. Sharon Cross noted that Dave and Jenny Humphrey travelled to Vancouver on their own money to take a workshop on writing statements of significance on heritage buildings or buildings of significance.

"This was done by the senior heritage planner with the heritage branch of the ministry," Cross noted.

Coun. Gerry Warner said there are two heritage designations in Cranbrook.

"We have two heritage ranking systems in town right now," Warner said. "We have about 10 buildings designated heritage buildings by bylaw. Once we establish a heritage register, there are many more buildings that could be considered for eventual bylaw status. This will be the first step in doing this, getting on the register."

Warner was thankful for the work done by Dave and Jenny Humphrey.

"We're going to have a professional appraisal of these potential heritage buildings before they move ahead to bylaw designation," he said. "There are a lot of communities dealing with heritage designation in this way, and I think it's good that Cranbrook is going to finally do the same."

So what would being included in the Cranbrook Community Heritage Register entail?

First a nomination form would need to be filled in by an individual, organization or local government; Then there is an agreement form to record the building/structure owner's support, without which the nomination would not continue; That is followed by an evaluation process for dealing with the nominations.

Humphrey notes that the process for writing up the Statements of Significance would be at no cost to the city.

Completed nominations and Statements of Significance would be submitted to council for approval prior to being added to the Cranbrook Community Heritage Register.

Council could also submit the listings for possible inclusion on the provincial British Columbia Register of Historic Places and the national Canadian Register of Historic Places.

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