Summerside proposes grants for heritage homeowners

·1 min read
Summerside would like to see more historic homes designated as heritage. (PEI Historic Places - image credit)
Summerside would like to see more historic homes designated as heritage. (PEI Historic Places - image credit)

The City of Summerside, P.E.I., is considering offering up some money to tempt people to register their buildings as heritage properties.

Summerside planning officer Thayne Jenkins said the city's goal is to register more buildings. Only 14 of a potential 120 in the downtown heritage district are now registered.

"Currently we don't offer financial incentives," Jenkins told Island Morning host Laura Chapin.

The proposal would see council set aside $35,000 a year for grants to assist heritage building owners with renovations. The grant could be applied to projects affecting the exterior of the building, such as siding, roofing or windows, and the building would have to be designated as heritage.

Renovations that fit into the heritage nature of a building can be more expensive, Jenkins said. Building owners are also looking to improve energy efficiency.

"We have to be able also to accommodate some of those changes, but at the same time still respect the heritage nature of the homes," he said.

If a homeowner wanted to install more energy-efficient vinyl windows, for example, it might be allowed for those to be put on the rear of the building, said Jenkins.

The new rules would also require proposals to tear down buildings in the heritage district to be considered by a meeting of council, whether the buildings are designated or not.

A public meeting to talk about the changes and get feedback and ideas is being planned for Thursday at Credit Union Place at 7 p.m. Space is limited and anyone wanting to attend must register by email or by calling 902-432-1262.

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