The Cultural Heritage Landscape designation for West Montrose is now official.
The CHL designation, which affords a level of protection to the historic West Montrose Covered Bridge and surrounding area, recently passed through its appeal period with no appeals.
That means the CHL, the first of its kind in the region, is now official.
The West Montrose CHL recognizes three historic themes — the pioneer settlement, including Scottish and Mennonite settlements, transportation (the covered bridge) and lifeways, the Old Order Mennonite Culture that is still in existence in the area.
Multiple “Character Defining Attributes” of the CHL have been identified, including the bridge, 19th century stone cottages, and three school locations that have been in use in the community.
Any future development in the area — including gravel pit applications — will have to take into account how the development could impact the CHL.
“We’re very happy with this designation,” said Tony Dowling, of the West Montrose Residents Association, in a press release. “It provides a solid foundation, on which plans can be made to protect the structures and features that make West Montrose so unique.”
Mayor Todd Cowan, in the same release, said that the West Montrose CHL takes note of the special nature of the area.
“Thousands of tourists visit West Montrose every year,” said Cowan. “They come from all over the world and they come to enjoy exactly what this CHL designation recognizes — this is a special place!”