Ocean Park Community Hall is getting full heritage benefits.
A bylaw to protect and maintain the hall for the long term has received first, second and third reading at Surrey City Hall.
The Heritage Revitalization Agreement Bylaw is expected to be adopted May 30, opening the door for members of the Ocean Park Community Association to access funds that will ease the financial burden of preserving the historic hall in the years to come.
“It will help with the preservation of the hall for future communities,” said association president Jane Hayes. “We want to keep it as a heritage building. There is some protection for it if you put it into a heritage agreement.”
Built in 1925, the 1577 128 St. hall was added to Surrey’s heritage register in November 1998. The move recognized its qualities and characteristics as significant and contributing to the city’s heritage. It did not, however, give it heritage protection. That can only be offered by a designation bylaw, heritage revitalization agreement or heritage covenant.
Heritage protection is noted on the title of protected properties, and owners of such properties may apply to the city for financial assistance.
Hayes said the association expects the hall will need roof and siding work in the next two or three years. A roof leak is currently being investigated, she said.
“There’s ongoing repairs needed at the hall,” Hayes said. “The mandate of the board is to maintain the hall. (The heritage revitalization agreement) is one of the proceeds that we needed to do to enable that.”
Under the bylaw, owners of heritage properties that are subject to an HRA may apply for up to 50 per cent of the value of repair or restoration work, up to $5,000 per year.
Hayes commended board members who worked for “the better part of a year” to get the agreement in order.
It outlines the responsibilities of the association in preserving the hall into the future; a conservation plan includes a description of the hall’s heritage significance, a list of its character-defining elements, a description of its maintenance and restoration requirements and an indication of what work might require a heritage alteration permit.
According to a May 9 report, the hall is significant “for its continuous association with the development of the Ocean Park neighbourhood in Surrey.”
The heritage revitalization agreement bylaw includes provisions to rebuild the hall in the event it is destroyed. The application was endorsed by the city’s Heritage Advisory Commission on March 23.