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Phase 2 of downtown plan to begin with community workshop

The second phase of Powell River’s downtown plan will begin next week with a community workshop and a survey for youth.

The workshop and survey come after pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle use, green spaces, activities, food, shopping and other subjects were discussed in phase one.

In phase two, the focus will be placed on two properties the city says “anchor” the downtown: the old arena site at Willingdon Beach and the soon-to-be decommissioned Westview wastewater treatment plant at the North Harbour.

It will be held on Tuesday at the Town Centre Hotel from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and planning services manager Daniella Fergusson says it “will allow everyone attending the opportunity to sit down in small groups with urban designers and give their opinions and vision for a thriving and diverse downtown.”

“The future of the downtown depends on what the community envisions. It’s people that make a downtown, not plans,” said Fergusson. “We need community members to share their ideas, because a successful downtown has to work for everyone, whether that’s residents, business owners, patrons, visitors, youth, and seniors.”

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Along with the workshop, the survey for those 25 and younger will be held online. Fergusson adds their voices are important to keep the downtown design relevant.

“Their ideas are from entirely different influences, like sports, YouTube, Instagram, Tik-Tok, music, gaming, school, fitness, fashion and adventure travel,” said Fergusson.

“Their downtown is not their parents’ downtown. We need their vision so that downtown is still relevant and successful 20 years from now.”

Mayor Ron Woznow adds the area on Marine Avenue will need to be beautiful and vibrant to benefit their tourism sector.

The survey can be found on the Participate Powell River Downtown Plan page.

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