A report detailing the possible development of the city core was given to council last week.
The district hired consultant Keycorp Planning to look at developing Lot A, a tw0-hectare piece of vacant land owned by the municipality on Wadams Way.
So far,, only a new public library is planeed for the land, but council has mulled possible public uses for the property since the district bought it three years ago.
The report was comprehensive in providing suggested uses for each of the lot’s four quadrants and listed a phased approach that put many projects years down the road.
The plans for the northwest quadrant were perhaps the least controversial as they simply confirmed that the new community library would be placed at that location.
The plans for the remaining three quadrants, however, were less straight forward.
On the northeast section of the property, it was recommended that a four to six-storey building be erected to house affordable rental units and assisted living units.
This section, the report said, should be the second phase of the Lot A development.
The southeast section of the property was recommended to house a new regional health centre building and other office uses, but the reports authors noted since this would be the third phase of the development that may be significantly down the road, it should be maintained as public green space until development begins.
It was the southwest portion of Lot A that appeared to address many of the community’s suggestions for a public meeting space.
Keycorp recommended that a permanent covered structure for a local farmer’s market be installed there for use by local farmers and the community’s artisans.
The area is also recommended to include water features and on-site water retention capability; public seating and performance areas; public washroom facilities; tree retention for existing significant trees; native trees and planting; and public art.
The report was generated after a series of public input opportunities and was designed to provide council with a blueprint for future actions.
There was one portion of the Keycorp report, however, that raised concerns from councillors as it suggested four zoning options for the development.
Those options moved Coun. Meagan McMath to question if any changes to zoning would be needed at all.
Staff was quick to dispute that contention, however, saying the current zoning presented some problems for the site as recommended.
Mayor Maja Tait, along with Coun. Al Beddows, suggested that since these projects were years off, it would be something council could address down the road.
She noted that a community centre advisory committee should be resurrected and called for the terms of reference for that committee to be brought to the June 10 council meeting.