A four-year engagement and study process to map out the community’s long-term vision for the Shelbourne Valley could be nearing completion, as a draft of the plan will go public next week.
At least one Saanich councillor, who’s been involved since the early stages the plan, says the time has come to move forward and start working on achieving the vision.
“Whatever the plan is, council now has to send direction to staff to start some sort of implementation,” said Coun. Judy Brownoff. “It’s going to require a short-term implementation strategy and long-term. Obviously long-term is the street itself, but there are some short-term opportunities that you could do.”
Cameron Scott, Saanich’s manager of community planning, says he’s optimistic this will be the last round of public consultation. He says if the community and stakeholders are generally supportive of the draft plan, staff will make minor amendments based on feedback received, then it could be before council in early 2014.
“Those early rounds of engagement are the basis of the plan. A lot of the work of the draft plan has been filling in some details on broader concepts that were supported by the community in earlier stages,” Scott said.
The plan will focus primarily on land-use and transportation in the community. Earlier studies completed as part of the planning process have indicated residents have an appetite to keep Shelbourne Street as a four-lane road, but make it more bike- and pedestrian-friendly.
A for the long-term development goal, Saanich hopes to create dense “nodes” along Shelbourne, where residents have access to amenities, goods and services, including public transportation, that allow them to live, work and play without needing a car.
The 30-year action plan encompasses the four-kilometres stretch of Shelbourne north of Hillside Centre.
A series of open houses to learn about and comment on the Shelbourne Valley Action Plan began this week.
Upcoming open houses take place on Saturday, Nov. 2 at Gordon Head Rec Centre (4100 Lambrick Way) from 2 to 6 p.m.; Monday, Nov. 4 at St. Aidan’s Church (3703 St. Aidan’s Rd.) from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.; and Wednesday, Nov. 6 at Lutheran Church of the Cross (3787 Cedar Hill Rd.) from 3 to 8 p.m.
Feedback will also be welcomed online until Nov. 25. To learn more about the Action Plan and to provide input, visit saanich.ca/business/actionplan/shelbourne.html.