Alteration Request Form Guidelines - Ontario Heritage Trust

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Alteration Request Form Guidelines

Complete the information and attach all necessary documentation to your alteration request application. The accuracy and completeness of this form is the responsibility of the applicant. Failure to complete the form may result in delays.

Before proceeding with any activity or action that may affect an easement property (e.g., legal, physical or esthetic), owners should consult the easement agreement and discuss the matter with the Ontario Heritage Trust’s (hereinafter referred to as the “Trust”) Easement Program Coordinator to determine if Trust approval is required. The Trust also views that approvals or pre-approvals are possible only to the degree and level of detail provided by the owner.

The Easement Program Coordinator can be reached at 437-246-4326.

Good conservation planning and practice requires a full and complete understanding of the impact of proposed alterations on the heritage elements/features of a property. Methods and materials for implementation are also required as part of an approval request.

The purpose of the approval process is not to prohibit change but to ensure that it is carefully managed with sound conservation principles in mind. This is the core purpose of the easement. The Trust’s decisions are based on its mandate as stipulated in Part II of the Ontario Heritage Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter O.18, the Trust’s Eight Guiding Principles in the Conservation of Historical Properties, the Trust’s handbook Well-Preserved (by Mark Fram), Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada and international charters, standards and principles.

The intention of the alteration request form is to provide the Trust with adequate information so that staff can clearly understand the specific details of any proposed alterations. Applicants should provide information on any possible alternative approach that they have considered. Please note that alteration requests should be submitted as early as possible, preferably in the preliminary stages of your project.

The Trust’s role is to provide support and technical conservation advice, and to enforce the legal obligations of the easement. Although each agreement is different, most allow 60 days from receiving a complete, written alteration request for the Trust to respond. The responses, however, are typically faster than this. If the application is incomplete, or the Trust requires further information or documentation to interpret the request, the 60-day period will start when these are provided. The record will also be used to evaluate whether a given project has been completed as per the written approval issued by the Trust.

An Alteration Completion Form and Report will be required at the end of the project. This form will allow the Trust to track the work completed on site and will provide important archival information for the future. It also allows the owner to more easily track the approval process.

Please note that a report or record of repair will be required on completion of the project; it should be compiled from the outset. Refer to the Alteration Completion Form and Guidelines for further information.

After obtaining written approval to proceed, please inform the Trust of any changes to the scope of the project that may be required as work progresses on site and unanticipated conditions are uncovered.

The primary purpose of the easement is the conservation of the heritage elements/features. Part of this conservation is achieved through the alteration request process. Some easement agreements allow for normal repairs that do not require Trust approval. In these situations, and to ensure that the work you propose falls into this category, consult the agreement and discuss the matter with Trust staff before you proceed.

Application guide

Owner information

This information is needed to verify the legal property owner’s details. Provide a mailing address, as well as a daytime telephone number.

Agent acting on behalf of the owner (if any)

If an agent has been or will be hired to assist with your project, fill in the name of the company, the agent’s name, and his/her contact information.

Property information

This section refers to the easement property on which work is to be carried out. Provide the easement property’s common name (e.g., Dundurn Castle, Ruthven Estate or Belleville City Hall) and the street address.

Project classification

Specify the nature of work that is to be performed on the property, and check all that apply.

New construction – includes any new buildings, additions or structures. The application should also include the materials to be used, and any technical drawings or photographs related to the new structure or addition.

Alterations – includes restoring, renovating, repairing or disturbing any of the heritage elements/features as described in the easement agreement. The application should also include drawings of the proposed alterations and any photographs of the area(s) in which modifications are to be carried out.

Repairs – includes any work carried out on the property to repair or restore its interior, exterior and/or any other physical repairs or restorations (plumbing, lighting, finishes, etc.) that affect the features protected by the easement agreement. Describe the current condition of what is to be repaired and include any photographs or other supporting documentation. Restoration will require evidence of research to corroborate the proposal.

Landscaping – includes any physical alteration of the property (landscape) as defined in the easement agreement. This work would include the re-planting, removal, destruction or cutting of trees, shrubs or other vegetation, except as may be necessary for good husbandry or the prevention/treatment of disease. Drawings should be provided to include the alterations that are proposed, and the materials to be used. An arborist’s report will be needed for tree removal.

Signs or Graphics – includes any addition of new graphics, wayfinding, signs or the alteration of existing graphics or signs. A drawing of the sign(s) with a description of the sign materials, the means of attachment, and the proposed location should be included with the application.

Lighting – includes the installation or addition of any new lighting fixtures, or the alteration or modification of any existing ones.

Demolition – includes the destruction of any heritage features (as defined in the easement agreement), and any buildings or structures on the property. Please include photographs of the structure or feature to be demolished, and describe the reason for removal.

Mechanical/Electical – includes the addition, alteration or renewal of an existing or new mechanical/electrical system (includes HVAC). An expert in these systems should be consulted and calculations done to ensure that the new or altered system will not negatively impact the heritage elements/features.

Pre-application advice

If you have received advice from Trust staff regarding this property and any proposed alteration, please specify the nature of the advice. If possible, include the name of the Trust staff person who assisted you. If you have not yet contacted the Trust, it is recommended that you do so before completing the application to receive information and advice regarding your application to make the process more efficient.

The Easement Program Coordinator can be reached at 437-246-4326, or by email at easements@heritagetrust.on.ca.

Project details

Check the boxes of the features that are to be affected by the alterations, and describe the work that is to be performed on them.

Project reasoning

Discuss the reason for carrying out the work on the property. Include a description of how the work will impact the heritage characteristics of the property. For major proposals, a conservation plan and/or heritage impact assessment may be required before the Trust can consider your proposal. Please consult the Trust for further advice and information.

Consultants and contractors

If you have appointed other parties to assist you with your proposed project, please indicate this here. Provide the name of the companies, the main contact person, and contact details. Résumés and lists of previous projects may be required.

Proposed schedule

Estimate the dates between which the work will be carried out.

Additional material

In order for the Trust to fully understand the nature of the work and the impact it will have on the heritage elements/features, additional material should be included. Specifications must be provided; include materials and workmanship. Separate drawing showing the existing condition and the proposed alteration should also be provided.

Site plan – include for any new construction, additions or changes to the landscape

Floorplan – include for any new interior construction, alteration or proposed demolition

Elevations – include for any landscaping or new exterior and/or interior construction, alteration or demolition

Photographs – include for any project images of the existing condition and area of work

Condition reports – include for any project, but specifically if there are renovations or repairs to be carried out on the building envelope or structure.

Note: If drawings are not available and a consultant is not being used, the Trust may be able to provide a template plan/drawing of your property for marking up.

Applications checklist

Complete the checklist to ensure that you have filled in all parts of the form and included all information and materials, as necessary.

Declaration

The processing of requests may require research, site visits and/or considerable consultation, so owners are advised to involve the Trust as early as possible in order to minimize delays.

If you have any questions or comments before or after submitting your form, call the Easement Program Coordinator at 437-246-4326.