Planning to avoid ad hoc decisions
The following is a transcript of notes taken from a
at the October 30th "Your City, Your Ideas" dialogue session.
Number of Participants: 30+
- We do have a plan that is up for review
- In spite of there being a plan, it seems easy for developers to receive exemptions … and some shoot for what they can get from Council
- Conscientious developers don't know what might be possible and are faced with outdated guidelines that don't make economic sense
- The primary issue is the heritage area. While there sometimes are challenges to heritage standards, much of the development in downtown in the last 30 years has been built to existing standards
- IDEA: reach a consensus about what is the best possible for all parts of the city. Define "what makes St. John's, St. John's." What do we present to others, such as tourists?
- A plan is greater than the concerns of a local area
- People don't know about developments until they happen: we react, rather than participate
- IDEA: in the plan review, distinguish between urban and suburban development. New areas like Clovelly want areas for walking and recreation: it should be considered as a community
- IDEA: there should be mixed use for developments; for example, there could be blocks downtown of about 6 storeys, with commercial, leased residential, condos; have multiple use or inclusive zoning
- IDEA: look to similar environments (coastal, climate) for models of uses. See what other cities have recently used for planning
- IDEA: for the review of St. John's planning, use broad-based visioning, bring in speakers experts in different successful city models; define core values; engage all interested citizens-aim to talk to them where they are, not expect them to come to City Hall