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Hundreds of ideas already received for Powell River downtown plan

The City of Powell River is already poring over hundreds of ideas from its first engagement session on a future plan for the Marine-Willingdon downtown core.

Planner Daniella Fergusson says there was “great turnout and lots of engagement” at this month’s Blackberry Fest – the city’s first “touch point” for the plan.

Fergusson says the downtown is “thriving” with lots of small businesses and shops, but this plan will look to “strengthen our downtown core” with plans for infill and city land and how that could be developed.

Right now, the city is gathering high-level assessments about what people like about the downtown.

“We can use those big picture ideas about what’s working well now and what could be changed to come up with some more detailed planning in the fall and next spring. We’ll be diving a bit more deeply into how the downtown could change in the future,” Fergusson told Vista Radio.

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The city will be planning workshops during that time.

Fergusson says the Marine-Willingdon Downtown Plan will see limited changes to Marine Avenue because it’s a provincial highway but Willingdon Avenue is a different story.

“It’s a street that we can look at in much more detail. Our bicycle network plan for example says that Willingdon should be the street that connects people who are walking or rolling or on bikes from the (Powell River) Seawalk to the Willingdon Beach Trail. So there could be a big transformation of Willingdon,” she said.

The plan will also look at future uses for city land, including the waste water treatment site, which is in the process of being decommissioned.

The public process will take about a year before a final report comes to city council.

Powell River received $240,000 from the B.C. government for the downtown plan – half of that will be spent on the public process.

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