Whitehorse residents pitch ideas during planning session

Urban planners and city staff hosted plan-a-thon sessions on June 7 to highlight key planning ideas as part of the second phase of the downtown and Marwell planning process.

Urban planners and city staff hosted plan-a-thon sessions on June 7 to highlight key planning ideas as part of the second phase of the downtown and Marwell planning process.

Residents of downtown and the Marwell area were invited to participate in the day-long session where they were presented with results of the forums conducted by the city earlier this year.

The forums enabled the city to identify what residents and business owners of the two areas were concerned about and what they’re currently happy with. In the downtown area, this included the new dog park, the Communities in Bloom program and Arts in the Park. Residents further highlighted their appreciation for the riverside trail development and the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre.

Residents raised concerns about affordable housing, public intoxication and substance abuse, and traffic speeds on Second Avenue. Planners and city staff boiled that feedback down into key ideas.

“What we’ve done is we’ve listened and reported back to the people on what we heard and where we should go, just to confirm that this is the sort of direction to go in for both downtown and Marwell,” said Ben Campbell, a city planner.

Received favorably by the 40-odd participants in the session were possible design guidelines for Old Town and different parts of downtown, the completion of the lower escarpment trail and connecting it to the Millennium/waterfront trail and building a public washroom facility near Front and Main streets.

Participants also supported exploring ways for the city to use vacant properties and having more festivals and pop-up events on Main Street with temporary street closures.

The city held two pop-up workshops on June 8 on Copper Road and at the Fireweed Community Market to ensure that the city could reach as many people as possible, Campbell said.

In the fall, the city will begin drawing up drafts for the development plan and final drafts are expected to be ready by late fall for public review.

“The goal here is be ready for potential council adoption by early 2018,” said Campbell.

The city is still accepting feedback via its website.

Contact Sharon Nadeem at sharon.nadeem@yukon-news.com

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