Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Harewood Neighbourhood Plan


Neighbourhood plans sets new vision for Harewood

Initiated in 2012, Harewood residents have been working with the City of Nanaimo to develop a neighbourhood plan for their community. With 12 guiding principles, a new vision has been developed that recognizes Harewood as a sustainable neighbourhood that:
  • ‘Greens’ the community
  • Improves the habitat and water quality of local watercourses and environmentally sensitive areas
  • Promotes stormwater remediation
  • Provides for an active lifestyle
  • Encourages local food production, and
  • Offers compact, mixed use development.
The comprehensive Neighbourhood Plan includes 12 guiding principles that lead to policy addressing land use, social enrichment and culture, economic development, environmental protection and enhancement, energy and climate, parks, open space and connectivity, and transportation and infrastructure.

Nanaimo City Councillor Fred Pattje notes that “A comprehensive plan for this area allows for sustainable and neighbourhood supported development, and that the emphasis on local food production reflects the traditional history of the Harewood neighbourhood.”

Harewood is a 507 hectare historic neighbourhood located southwest of downtown Nanaimo. With a history in coal mining and farming, the area has, in recent decades, transitioned to a residential neighbourhood providing local commercial services. Local residents requested a neighbourhood plan be completed for their community, and the Harewood Neighbourhood Plan is set to become the ninth neighbourhood plan completed within Nanaimo. “This Plan is really about the liveability of the area,” said City of Nanaimo Community Development Planner Deborah Jensen,” and will allow us to guide the future development in this area in ways that align with the aspirations of the neighbourhood.”

Through the process, local residents identified several issues of greatest importance for the future of their neighbourhood. These included enhanced protection for watercourses, greater opportunities for biking and walking, developing a new Harewood Village as the focus of local commercial and community activity, and development of a strategy to increase Harewood’s economic health and promote its image as a great place both to live and invest.

Heather Campbell, of the Harewood Neighbourhood Association, adds “We are pleased to have the City as partners in creating a vision for Harewood; the residents are excited about the future of the neighbourhood, and also committed to maintaining and enhancing the great qualities that drew them to live here in the first place.”

This Neighbourhood Plan is intended as a guide for future policy decisions, including new development, redevelopment, open space acquisitions and environmental considerations. It provides overall policy and a series of design guidelines to help achieve the vision for the community.

The Harewood Neighbourhood Plan will be considered by Council for first and second readings Monday, 2013-JUL-08. Copies of the draft Harewood Neighbourhood Plan are available HERE.

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