Quality of Life is critical to attracting new people to our community. We can learn from the example of communities all around us who’s populations have grown while ours declined. The reality today is that more people than ever CHOOSE the community they want to live based on the COMMUNITY rather than the job. We will focus on job creation, but if we don’t see the value of improving Quality of Life, people will choose to commute here for work and live elsewhere. There needs to be balance.
Intentional Waterfront Redevelopment
The waterfront is our community’s greatest asset. Redeveloping it can be done in small projects, carving out one small piece at a time as opportunities arise, or on a large scale with Federal Remediation Grants. We need to look at every decision we make about our waterfront through the lens, Is this the highest and best use of this space?
- Work with industrial owners to carve out space whenever possible. An example of this is a suggestion that came from a Catalyst employee to ask Catalyst to let the City take over the helipad on the Victoria Quay side of their property to expand Millstone Park. Improved acess to waterfront space doesn’t always mean massive projects
- Create a master plan for a (mostly) waterfront connected walkway and work with land owners to have as much as possible of it adjacent to the waterfront
- Implement pilot project to remove parking from waterfront spaces for specified days in the summer and program the spaces heavily on those days
- Repaint City-owned Harbour Quay buildings
- Take fence down, plant grass greenery and flowers, and look for potential kayak/SUP rental companies to lease space in summer at City-owned Esso property next to Harbour Quay
Creation of a Permanent Public Market
Public Markets not only offer a space for local farmers, bakers, and artisans to sell their goods, they also offer a hub for the community to interact with each other. A permanent market should be located in a space with high foot traffic, and should be enclosed or indoors. Appropriate signage should be displayed to allow for tourists to find it.
Port Alberni is a great place to live. But we don’t always give off that impression. We need to refocus on our first impression, cleanliness, etc to show visitors driving through how great of a community this is. We need to promote our natural assets. This includes our trails, maintains, lakes, rivers, waterfront, etc. Proper signage directing people to Uptown, Harbour Quay, Arts district, trails, etc is critical. Our residents are our best way of getting the word out, so we need all of you to be proud of the community you live and spread the message.
- Expand Facade Improvement Program which has generated significant investment into our community and improved visual appeal of many commercial storefronts
- Enforce bylaws consistently across the board for commercial property owners who use their spaces for ways in which they are not zoned (provide the opportunity to rezone) or for owners who do not keep their properties up to a minimum standard.
Its hard to talk about Quality of Life without talking about housing. The sad reality in our community is that housing has become a luxury for many between the rental crisis and struggles with mental health and addictions.
- Implement ‘Housing first Strategy’ which has a proven track record used in Medicine Hat to end homelessness and reduce policing costs over time
- Overhaul of our Secondary Suite guidelines and creation of incentives for home owners who put suites in their homes and rent them out to long-term tenants. City of Victoria and City of Nelson have great incentives in place that we can learn from
- Work with non-profits and support their applications for provincial housing funding through donation of land or longterm lease wherever necessary