Downtown Courtenay Dreamers Wanted
February 18, 2016
Community consultation for the Downtown Courtenay revitalization process continues next month, and will feature a number of community workshops in early March. Please join the City of Courtenay at the Native Sons Hall upper level for three opportunities to have your say in the creation of a vision for downtown.
On Monday March 7, from 5:30 to 9pm, the public is invited to participate in small working group discussions. Participants will develop ideas for an assigned area, such as a public plaza, a riverfront district, housing opportunities and park and trail connections, to name a few. Illustrators will be on-hand to draw the ideas in the working groups.
On Tuesday, March 8, from 6:30 to 8:30pm, pop in to see the designers’ work in progress.
Finally, on Thursday March 10 from 5:30 to 8pm, attend a community presentation led by Michael Von Hausen of MVH Urban Planning and Design. This presentation will feature the culmination of work done to date, including public engagement sessions from October 2015.
Childminding for children one year and older is available upon advanced request for the Monday and Thursday sessions. Please book by February 29 at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-334-4441.
“We’re excited to be embarking on the next, more detailed phase of the Downtown Revitalization Plan,” stated Ian Buck, the city’s director of development services. “The community workshops last fall generated a lot of good ideas and enthusiasm.”
Some of the major proposals that emerged from the October workshops include more housing downtown, improving access to the rivers, and ensuring that the downtown core is well connected to surrounding areas for pedestrians.
Participants also noted some of the top things they found special about downtown Courtenay, including the variety of shops, restaurants and services, the personal customer service, the aesthetics of the river and glacier setting, as well as the civic and park amenities nearby. Things that were noted to be missing from the downtown include a central all-weather plaza, better connectivity for walking and cycling, and housing.
Following the March consultation, an action plan will be developed with next steps, including timelines and priorities.
“We’re looking for ongoing support from the community to help implement this plan and ensure downtown remains a community priority,” said Buck. “The City will have a strong role to play in coordination, implementation of public infrastructure and working with development applicants, but there is a role for everyone to play in this plan whether you are a stakeholder with a big project, or someone who shops downtown.”
In conjunction with the city’s events, the Comox Valley Art Gallery is holding a “Where is Here?” video project on March 5 to engage residents on places they feel most connected to their community. Find out more at www.whereishereculturalmapping.com .
For more information on the Downtown Revitalization planning process and the March events, please visit www.courtenay.ca/downtown or visit the City’s Facebook and Twitter channels.