Those attending the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce luncheon last Wednesday had a first glimpse at some of the City’s new Community Plan.
Jim Walters, of Crosby Hanna and Associates the consultants doing the work, said once complete the city will have both an official Community Plan, as well as an updated Zoning Bylaw which will sync with the over arching direction the city is going.
While that may sound like the Community Plan is a highly complicated document, Walters assured “it is written in the voice of the citizen,” and is reflective “…of what the values of the city are.”
In many instances the new plan draws on elements from previous documents such as the City’s 2020 Plan which was created based on community input, and the City’s Master Traffic Plan.
The document looks to provide a foundation for development in Yorkton stretching out to 25-years, to 2036.
In visioning forward a quarter of century, Walters said they expect the city to double in population based on the current average annual growth rate.
Using a vision of near 40,000 residents, Walters said other aspects of the Community Plan start to fall into place, in particular the anticipated need for 6-8000 new housing units.
Walters told press after the presentation that meeting such growth will be a major undertaking.
“The biggest challenge is having the infrastructure in place,” he said, adding “there is a whole section in the report that deals with infrastructure.”
As a foundation document, many of the principles are general in nature., As an example Walters said there is a desires to have “an expandable economy”, and while elements of the Plan are associated with helping that occur, it is also flexible to allow future adaptation.
In some cases the Plan also reiterates some long held community desires.
In touching on highlights during his Chamber presentation, Walters said the City would still like to see concerns regarding the railway passing through the city-centre resolved in some fashion.
Walters said railway concerns have been a long held concern, and added it was important that core desire be reflected in a document which looks to the future.
The Plan is also re-visiting the issue of signage in the city, offered Walters.
“We have a pretty good draft finished,” said Walters regarding a vision for the “proliferation of portable signs,” in the city.
While Walters touched on several issues which have been long-standing ones in the city, he told the press after “three-quarters of it (the Plan) is new,” adding “there was a lot of work that went into it.”
While the Plan has been developed to the point of a working document, available to the public at www.yorkton.ca/cityhall, changes may still be made following public consultation, like one like held at the Gallagher Centre Thursday, said Walters.
It is expected the Plan will be presented to Yorkton Council this month, with Council ratifying the Plan in October.