Colwood is taking steps to plan for the future with a unique, comprehensive approach.
Although still awaiting budget approval, staff started work on some of the city’s identified strategic priorities for the near future, including planning for traffic and economic development.
“It’s time to chart the way forward,” said Michael Baxter, director of engineering.
The terms of reference for the transportation master plan were developed with public input.
A unique aspect of the project is its co-ordination with the city’s economic development strategy, also being developed this year.
“There’s no point in having an economic development strategy that requires road service that the transportation master plan does not allow for,” Baxter said. “The two need to be in sync.”
Both projects are in the city’s list of top 11 strategic priorities.
Also being considered at the same time are the proposed storm water management plan, the land use bylaw update and an update to the city’s official community plan.
Gas tax funds are covering much of the budget for the projects.
“(Let’s) take a holistic approach, as opposed to a more narrow approach,” said Iain Bourhill, planner. “Certainly it’s got challenges but it’s also an opportunity to build on the strengths of each plan.”
Colwood’s economic development strategy which Bourhill is spearheading, is intended to help the city grow economically in a way which promotes Colwood as both a place to live and work.
An ad hoc working group, with members from council, city staff and Dan Spinner from WestShore Chamber of Commerce, will meet to determine the scope, select a consultant and monitor the project.
The plan is to arrange public open houses dealing with the multiple projects, rather than for the specific plans. Public input will be sought for the terms of reference for the economic development strategy.
“Where there are overlapping goals and priorities and actions that can be aligned between the different plans, they can be mutually supportive,” Bourhill said.