Cranbrook, BC (July 13, 2023) – After nearly two years of dedication and hard work, the City’s new Downtown Revitalization Master Plan was received and approved by Council at their regular meeting on Monday, July 10, 2023.
The plan was developed over a number of phases which included public consultation consisting of pop-up events, online engagement, survey, a stakeholder advisory group, Downtown Business Association input and enhanced engagement with Council.
Efforts by the public who contributed their input throughout the planning process, members of the volunteer Advisory Group, the consulting team and City staff helped create this plan, which will help guide revitalization efforts for the downtown core.
“I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the development of this plan. The plan is designed as a roadmap for the future that will address short to long term revitalization initiatives,” says Mayor Wayne Price.
Feedback themes heard through the engagement process included the desire for a more walkable downtown, more vibrancy, better gateways into downtown, the love of Rotary Park, and desire for more events on downtown streets. Through the engagement process, background research and plan development stages, the following became the foundation of the plan:
The Vision: "A friendly, dynamic, diverse and vibrant downtown community. Change your watch to Kootenay time".
Goal of the master plan: Create vibrancy, bring people downtown, promote downtown redevelopment, enhance the identify of downtown and bring business into downtown.
Key Planning and Design Principles: Create diverse housing choices, build mixed use building and encourage adaptive reuse; Make design choices that prioritize the pedestrian experience, promotes activity and a sense of place; Attract businesses that will enhance the streetscape and provide diverse employment opportunities; Create complete streets, adopt a "pedestrian and cyclist first" approach, ensure safety for all road users, and adopt universal design for streets; and finally, Create a phase approach for infrastructure upgrades.
Land Use: The land use framework on which the plan is based identifies a number of land use districts with specific considerations for concentrating density around Baker Street and having a downtown core be commercial and mixed-use focused.
“The plan provides comprehensive policies and guidelines with respect to Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure & Urban Design including streetscape, architecture and built form as well as a comprehensive list of implementation options for the short, medium and long term,” says Rob Veg, Manager of Planning for the City. “This plan also has multiple synergies with goals and recommendations that came out of the recently endorsed Tourism Master Plan. We are excited to begin working to implement many of the new initiatives included in this new downtown plan.”