In the midst of large-scale developments such as Royal Bay

In the midst of large-scale developments such as Royal Bay

Public input continues in Colwood with Big Ideas Fair

Plenty of ways for Colwood residents to share ideas this weekend

With survey results still being collected, the City of Colwood is inviting the public to share their thoughts and ideas for the city’s future in a fun and hands-on way.

The Big Ideas Fair runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday (Jan. 28) at Royal Bay secondary and will feature a variety of games and activities for children and adults. Included on the list is a Design Colwood table map that will allow participants to sketch out their design ideas for the city.

Those in attendance will get a chance to step into Mayor Carol Hamilton’s shoes with “Mayor for the Day,” which allows participants to invest in specific priority areas using budgeted tokens.

A kids drawing station will also compile ideas, and there will be music and a food truck to ensure the event has a festive feel to it.

“We’re just trying to encourage as many people as possible to come out, have some fun and have their say about how they would like to see Colwood grow and change over time,” said City communications manager Sandra Russell.

The number of submissions for Colwood’s Making Waves survey, which opened in the fall, has now topped 1,000 and staff are continuing to compile data.

The interactive survey, which seeks public input in advance of the 2017 update of Colwood’s Official Community Plan, allows respondents to select their preferred identity for the City, mark special places on a map and select images to represent their vision for future growth.

With data compiled from the first 544 survey responses, “Oceanfront Community” topped the list when respondents were asked to rank their top five priorities for the City. “Green and Clean” and “Small Vibrant Villages” rounded out the top three, while “A Suburb of Victoria” came in last out of the eight possible responses.

Colwood Corners was marked by most respondents as the current “City Heart,” but the area had to share the spotlight with Royal Bay when it came to identifying tomorrow’s town centre.

“Special Places” markers were clustered around the waterfront and Royal Roads University, while “Places Needing Help” were broadly distributed, with some clustering around Colwood Corners.

With regards to transportation, streets that prioritize walking and cycling have been identified as being important for future growth, while boardwalks and natural areas scored high in the oceanfront category.

“The data’s running pretty consistently,” noted Russell.

The updated OCP is expected to be finalized by the end of November. For more information on both the survey and the Big Ideas Fair, log on to the City’s website at colwood.ca.

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com