City seeking grants to develop contaminated and vacant downtown properties

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of Fort St. John is going to apply for funding to clean up brownfield and vacant lots to aid in the development of the downtown area.

The City’s Strategic Action Plan focuses on developing the downtown area for optimal living conditions, while the Downtown Action Plan encourages the development of underutilized or vacant sites by 2040. At the time of the Vacant No More report’s completion in November 2017, there were 604 vacant lots and 405 underutilized lots in Fort St. John. Many of those sites are owned by local companies while some, including the former Condill and Fort Hotel sites, are owned by the City.

The Action Plan calls for the City to put aside funds including property assessments for such lots and grants from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund, which the City is looking at applying for towards the development of downtown properties.

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The City is wanting to educate companies who own pieces of land to the benefits of temporary uses of the vacant owned land. Temporary uses such as plazas, parks, parking lots could be put in place until the development of each lot is completed over the alternative of a leaving the land as it stands and running the risks of losing downtown companies.

 

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