Downtown Land Use And Development Plan (Phases 1 and 2)
DOWNTOWN CORE AND NEIGHBOURHOODS
Downtown Chilliwack is the traditional Central Business District of the City and home to many institutions, including the Chilliwack General Hospital, the Court House, the Landing Leisure Centre, Prospera Centre, three schools and Central Community Park. The downtown district is also a residential area comprised of neighbourhoods that range from single detached homes to high-rise apartments.
Over the years, various plans have been implemented in an attempt to keep the core strong. While competing growth areas north and south of the TransCanada Highway have challenged the redevelopment of the downtown, the recent market support for higher density development in the existing urban corridor has created new opportunities for the downtown to play an important role in the City’s growth. Such market support of the downtown and its neighbourhoods will only strengthen the long term as the supply of green field sites that can be economically developed approaches depletion. In order to capitalize on those opportunities, the City has undertaken new planning initiatives to better prepare the downtown and form strategic partnerships for a successful revitalization.
The City of Chilliwack has a downtown revitalization tax exemption program where Council may enter into an agreement with property owners within designated areas of the downtown (map attached to bylaw) and upon issuance of an exemption certificate to the assessor, those improvements are exempt from municipal property value taxes for a period of time not longer than five years, and with a single renewal period of one year (year 6). (see Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw 2004 No. 3012).
DOWNTOWN CORE AND NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANNING
In 2007, the Downtown Neighbourhoods Strategic Plan (Phase 1) was completed, following extensive public consultation. This Plan, which forms Phase 1 of Downtown Planning, identifies broad strategies to address social issues, to encourage investment and provide greater direction for land use and development decisions.
In 2008, the Downtown Land Use and Development Plan (Phase 2) was initiated to further develop and implement the Strategic Plan vision. This plan, has been adopted by Council and provides details for daily decision making regarding land use, building and site design, neighbourhood design and public space improvements to ensure compatible, sustainable, liveable development patterns as growth occurs.
The 2007 Downtown Neighbourhoods Strategic Plan provides a strategic, long-term vision for revitalization of the downtown core and surrounding neighbourhoods. A detailed economic analysis of key development trends and opportunities affecting downtown redevelopment forms the basis for identifying detailed actions that support social, economic and physical redevelopment in the downtown.