Saturday February 18, 2012

City Hall News



The Best Laid Plans

Chilliwack council to get first glimpse at Downtown Task Force Report Tuesday

Released by Starlee Renton, City of Chwk


ecommendations for speeding up the renewal of Chilliwack's historic neighbourhood will be presented to Council on Tuesday, February 21. The Downtown Task Force has made twenty recommendations, addressing land development and assembly, social issues, revitalization incentives, marketing, unsightly premises, implementation and monitoring.

"The Downtown Task Force recognizes that some of our recommendations are bold and will require further exploration and discussion," said Task Force Chair, Ken Huttema. "However, we strongly believe we have presented an action guide that could help us realize the vision for this neighbourhood sooner than the thirty years suggested in the Downtown Land Use and Development Plan."

At Tuesday's Council meeting, staff will recommend the Downtown Task Force Report be received for information and that the Task Force be formally disbanded. Council will also be asked to refer the report to staff and the newly formed Implementation Committee, for further analysis of resources, impact, timelines and potential partnerships. Implementation of some of the recommendations will be done incrementally, as market and economic forces dictate. Other recommendations simply expand on the exciting work and improvements that are already happening in this historic neighbourhood.

Council formed the Downtown Task Force in 2009 to address the timing of redevelopment in Chilliwack's downtown area. Using the 2010 Downtown Land Use Plan as a guide, the Task Force was asked to look at the challenges that are slowing us from achieving the downtown vison and make recommendations that could help us reach it sooner.

To achieve their mandate, the Task Force examined relevant past studies, reports and presentations on the downtown and became familiar with the adopted Downtown Land Use Plan. They also looked at best practices from other communities in the region, reviewed applicable Bylaws and re- examined the boundaries of the Revitalization Tax Exemption Zone.

The Task Force was comprised of members of Chilliwack Council, representatives from the development and business communities, the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce and Business Improvement Association, as well as Chilliwack Economic Partners and City staff. Find the report on page 285 of the February Agenda Package here.



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