Three readings on a new Heritage Property Maintenance Standards Bylaw have been passed by Township Council. The bylaw establishes minimum requirements for the care of designated heritage properties to ensure buildings of historic value, such as the Dixon Barn, which has been restored by the Langley Heritage Society, are not lost to neglect. Supplied photo

Township’s heritage properties protected under new bylaw

Heritage Property Maintenance Standards Bylaw sets minimum requirements for care of heritage sites

From its First Nations origins through European settlement and the Hudson’s Bay era, the Township of Langley is home to the earliest known settlement in the Fraser Valley. It is vital that its heritage resources be preserved and maintained, because once they are gone, the stories they tell are lost forever.

On Monday, June 11, Township of Langley council gave three readings to a Heritage Property Maintenance Standards Bylaw that establishes minimum requirements for the care and maintenance of designated heritage properties.

There are currently 27 significant public and private properties in theTownship, and two areas – Fort Langley and Murrayville – that have heritage designation, which provides for their long-term legal protection. However, up to now there has been no tangible way of ensuring that they are cared for and not simply left to deteriorate.

Proper maintenance is the best and most cost effective way to extend the life of a building, and the proposed bylaw provides the authority to ensure designated heritage properties are maintained to minimum standards. The bylaw is not meant to be onerous to the owners of heritage properties, but requires that the buildings be weatherproofed and kept free from infestation and vegetation overgrowth.

Owners can apply for financial support to assist with the costs of maintaining heritage buildings through a Township grant, which is offered three times a year. The next call for applications to the Heritage Building Incentive Program is August 24. Visit

“People are exceptional when it comes to caring for heritage properties and take great pride in maintaining and restoring them,” said Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese in a press release.

“But sometimes, these incredibly valuable and increasingly rare gems slip through the cracks.”

Earlier this year, a residence constructed in Milner in 1885 — among one of the oldest remaining buildings in the Township — was found to have deteriorated into an unsalvageable heap. It had been left unattended for 40 years and finally collapsed into total ruin.

“It is one thing to leave a heritage building standing, to keep it intact, but we can’t say it is being protected just because it hasn’t been torn down,” Froese said.

“Age, the elements, and nature will eventually take their toll. Basic maintenance will ensure these valuable links to our past do not deteriorate through neglect and can be enjoyed by everyone for years to come.”

The Heritage Property Maintenance Standards Bylaw was put forward to council by the Township’s Heritage Advisory Committee, as part of its 2018 work plan.

For several years, the volunteer-run committee had been discussing how to better protect heritage properties, following the loss of the historic Noel Booth Store and Gas Station in Fernridge, through misuse and lack of maintenance.

Minimum maintenance requirements for properties that are designated or located within a heritage conservation area can be established under the Local Government Act, and many other municipalities and cities throughout B.C. already have such bylaws in place.

The Township’s new bylaw will also prevent people from getting hurt and addresses safety issues by ensuring that the structural integrity of heritage buildings is maintained.

The bylaw will be brought forward for adoption at a future Council meeting.

For more information, visit

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

VIDEO: Child among injured in two-vehicle crash

T-bone MVA sent at least three people to hospital Sunday afternoon

Column: It’s shaping up to be an interesting race in Langley

The municipal election is less than two months away, and recent developments… Continue reading

Kay’s cars — the big and the small of it

A Cruise-in participants talks about getting her very first vehicle at the age of two

An old-time barley harvest for Langley farm family

Members of the public watched a 1940s combine in action at the MacInnes Farms Threshing Bee

Arena opens at Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre

Grand procession brings Aldergrove ice arena users to new facility

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights are misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Most Read