Council seeks more public input on the Downtown Plan

Fri, 09 Oct 2015

Public feedback on long-term vision requires input from across the community

Four staff reports outlining the proposed future vision for the town’s historic downtown were presented at the October 5, 2015, Planning and Development Council meeting. After hearing from a number of delegations and the staff presentations, Council moved to continue the meeting to October 7, 2015, at which time Council asked to defer items to November for greater public input on the Transportation and Streetscape plan and to March for input on the Cultural Hub plan.

“We launched our Downtown Plan studies in December 2013 with a goal to bring together residents, business and cultural groups to help define our vision for a new downtown streetscape and upgraded cultural facilities,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “The Oakville community stepped up to the challenge over the last two years, and worked with Council and staff to create a shared vision for a downtown that will inspire and connect the community while protecting the heritage features of our historic downtown.”

The staff reports outlined the Downtown Cultural Hub Master Plan, the Downtown Parking Strategy, the Downtown Retail Action Plan and the overall strategy for implementation of this comprehensive Downtown Plan.

At the November 2, 2015, Planning and Development meeting, Council will continue discussions on the projects to be considered in the town’s 10-year Capital Forecast — in particular the timing of the Lakeshore Road reconstruction. In March, Council will further consider the key elements that define the Downtown Cultural Hub Master Plan as well as:

  • public opinion from across the town on the DCH Master Plan
  • initial feedback from the public consultation on the official plan review for the downtown area
  • a program to understand the potential for private sector partnerships, with the first step being the testing of the market

“The decisions Council makes will not only affect downtown businesses and residents, but all Oakville residents. We want to ensure that everyone in all six wards has an opportunity to share their views on the next steps for this project,” added Mayor Burton.

Council also received a Downtown Parking Strategy report and requested staff to bring back options, in the spring of 2016, to provide interim parking to accommodate parking displaced by the Lakeshore Road reconstruction. The Retail Action Plan report containing recommendations for economic actions to be implemented by the Downtown BIA, with support from the town's Economic Development department, was also received by Council.

“This is an exciting long-term plan for the renewal of our downtown streetscape, retail sector and cultural facilities but the town can’t do it all by itself,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “Our next priority is to address the significant funding requirements through alternatives including the private sector and other levels of government.”

Residents are encouraged to learn more about the Downtown Plan by visiting the Downtown Plan page or by emailing downtownplan@oakville.ca with any questions or opportunities to meet with your community organization.