Originally published by the Comox Valley Record on Oct. 8, 2019 1:30 a.m.
Two sweeping community master plans were passed by Courtenay council Sept. 30, outlining a vision for the city’s multi-modal transportation, parks and recreation for years to come.
Both plans are the result of multi-year efforts involving significant consultation with community partners, stakeholders and the public, including surveys, open houses, focus group sessions and workshops.
The Connecting Courtenay: Transportation Master Plan provides direction on transportation infrastructure for pedestrians, cyclists, transit and vehicles for the next 20 years and beyond.
The Parks and Recreation Master Plan will inform planning and decision-making for parks, trails, recreation facilities and programs over the next 10 years.
The plans were designed to complement one another, with many recommendations reflected in both, particularly for pedestrian and cyclist connectivity. Urban Systems produced both plans.
“Our council was really happy with the outcome of both of these plans,” Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells said. “These master plans are incredibly important; they shape how we want our community to grow and develop. In essence, they define Courtenay’s character and what we want to leave behind for future generations. The completion of these plans represents a major milestone for the city and our council. We’d like to acknowledge the tremendous contributions and suggestions from the entire community for both plans, and we’d also like to thank staff and the consultants for their efforts.”
Both plans are considered guiding aspirational documents, with individual projects prioritized through council’s strategic planning sessions, as well as detailed analysis through the City’s asset management program. The goal of Courtenay’s asset management policy is sustainable service delivery, ensuring that services and initiatives are completed in a socially, economically and environmentally responsible manner while balancing the needs of the community now and into the future.
Specific projects will be brought to council for review and approval through future annual City budgets.
The Cycling Network Plan section of the transportation master plan was adopted earlier this year to meet grant funding deadlines, resulting in $227,655 in provincial funding through the BikeBC program for the Fitzgerald Cycling Corridor Project now underway, and the Hobson Neighbourhood Connector.
Other significant community planning documents completed in recent years include Water and Sanitary Sewer master plans, the Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw adopted in 2018, and the Urban Forest Strategy adopted in June. The Integrated Rainwater Management Plan, Official Community Plan, and Cultural Services Review are underway.
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