On Monday 21 December, the Consultants for the Downtown Master Plan will be making a presentation on their progress.  The project is almost complete.  There is just one more request for public input and then the final report will be delivered.  The Downtown Master plan is supposed to be the overall plan that combines the Heritage Master Plan, the 3D Model/Virtual Tour,  the Tourism Asset Feasibility Study (which recommended we seriously look at other uses of the Trailer Park), Heritage Building Asset Inventory, the Community Improvement Venture Initiative (CIVI) and the Community Improvement Plan (CIP).

An earlier post on this blog described the overall plan – the only additional information that I can see in Monday’s presentation is an indication of timelines.  Items are grouped by short-term (0-3 years), medium-term (4-7 years) and long term (8+ years).

They are described as “sample items” and grouped in the presentation as follows:

Short term (0 to 3 years):

  • Establish the Community Improvement Venture Initiative (CIVI) as an arm’s length development and marketing body to co-ordinate and facilitate downtown revitalization and improvement (It also provides financing)
  • Actively promote and implement the Community Improvement Plan (CIP) and associated Incentives [see list below] as a stimulus for downtown revitalization (also an Ongoing Action Item)
  • Implement downtown Wayfinding and Directional signage (GSP Group), finalize designs, placement and costing
  • Revisit and implement the Victoria Square Plan to create a convertible & accessible landscaped public square and gathering space for community events, the Farmer’s Market and parking, and include the conversion of Second Street into a “Flex Street” concept in accordance with this Master Plan.

Medium term (4 to 7 years):

  • Implement the First Street Pedestrian Path in concert with abutting development in accordance with this Master Plan
  • Implement recommendations of the Streetscape and Landscape Design Study, including landscaping, street trees, pathways, accessibility enhancements, signage, furniture and other features
  • Implement downtown Gateway signage (GSP Group), finalize designs, placement and costing
  • Complete the installation of heritage streetlights and signs
  • Re-develop the Park Theatre building as a key cultural/entertainment destination in the downtown, with potential to incorporate a cohesive mixed use development in the College-McGill block, with public plaza/arcade use in accordance with this Master Plan
  • Examine the future use of the CDCI West sports field site.

Long term (8+ years):

  • Implement the Rotary Waterfront Park Pedestrian Path to Third Street, with parking lot enhancements and landscaping
  • Implement the Third Street – Hibernia Street Pedestrian Path in concert with abutting development in accordance with this Master Plan
  • Re-examine the need & timing for a structured parking facility on the Covert Street parking lot.

As mentioned earlier, these plans have no actual power (not like officials Plans, Zoning and by-Laws) - they are used to guide decision making by planners, other staff and councillors. Therefore, incentives as enabled by the Community Improvement Plan are a useful tool.

Incentive programs include:

  • Study Grant Program
  • Facade Improvement Grant/Loan Program
  • Building Improvement Grant/ Loan Program
  • Residential Grant / Loan Program
  • Vitalization Tax Increment Grant Program
  • Brownfields Tax Assistance Program
  • Vitalization Development Charge Grant Program
  • Fees Grant Program

Comments from the public will be accepted until Friday, January 13, 2016 and can be emailed to Glenn McGlashon, Director of Planning & Development at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Download the full presentation made to Council here

And now (Dec 22, 2015), download the full "draft" plan here.  15MB 114 pages pdf

 

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