At the latest Airdrie city council meeting, bylaw No. B-01/2022, the Area Redevelopment Plan was given three readings.
The project has been in the works for many years. In 2017 the city did ‘visioning’ with the public and in subsequent years, in 2018 and 2019, servicing studies and parking studies were completed. Also in 2019, design charts were presented to the public to get a sense of what the people wanted on Main Street’s critical properties.
Stephen Utz, Project Manager of the downtown plan discussed what is up next. The plan is to leverage private investment for the downtown.
“We've put in place a series of supportive policies on a variety of different issues in terms of redevelopment supporting the core, things like affordable housing and generating more activity.”
With this new bylaw being passed last Tuesday, this allows financial incentives, that will be looking for council budget committees to support that would improve the land economics for the downtown and allow more private landowners to redevelop their properties at a very significant level.
“I think it's a great achievement for the city of Airdrie. I think the public told us very clearly starting in 2017, with the visioning exercises that they wanted a stronger downtown. This was an overwhelming opinion. I think what this plan does, is it really shows political and administrative commitment to making that a reality,” he said.
According to Utz, the vision that they had within the plan was for downtown Airdrie to be the place that people love.
“I think that this plan really sets that barometer, so that when we're looking at decisions that we can make, we can really fundamentally ask that question, ‘does this move us further or closer from that vision of downtown to the place that people love?’”
Utz finished off by saying he thinks that this has given a really strong guidepost and some supportive policies with concrete incentives.
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