Moving forward with the Downtown Revitalization Plan, City Council will direct staff to review bylaw recommendations and prepare to amend respective bylaws.
“What we’re asking staff to do is to review the bylaw recommendations and prepare mandating bylaws,” said Mayor Lori Ackerman.
Staff will then return to Council with their amendments to bylaws, and after consideration, will be finalized.
The Downtown Revitalization Plan, drawing inspiration from images of downtown Vancouver among other metropolis cities, introduced the ideas of bringing in a market plaza, a bus exchange, and upgrade to the North Peace Cultural Centre.
It has already passed through three phases, and will carry on to the Downtown Action Plan, which contains:
- Five Fundamentals of a Great Downtown & 10 Big Moves
- Downtown Development Permit Area Design Guidelines
- Public Realm and Streetscape Master Plan
- Downtown Land Use and Development Plan.
Councillor Christensen “I do not agree with a tax and development cost charge exemption, I said this at our last two meetings and I’ll say it again. An exemption is unfair, though I do support a deferral.”
On attracting investment and economic development, the Plan says,
“Policy changes and incentives, such as providing tax and development cost charge exemptions, and reducing or eliminating parking requirements for new development in Downtown, will encourage new development by making the economics of downtown development more attractive.”
However, Councillor Bruce Christensen didn’t agree with the tax and development cost charge exemption.
“I said this at our last two meetings and I’ll say it again,” he stated in Monday’s meeting. “An exemption is unfair, though I do support a deferral.”
City Manager Dianne Hunter said nothing is set in stone currently, and after staff come back with their proposed amendments to bylaws, there is room to have a discussion about them.
“Absolutely we would, at that point, have a really robust conversation in order to ensure whatever bylaw mandate are made that it meets your vision,” she said. “Not only for the downtown … but how does it integrate with our other master plans?”
All the details of the full document, including full detail into the varying costs of each part of the Plan, can be found here.