Market Days is a crowd-pleaser for downtown Courtenay.

Market Days is a crowd-pleaser for downtown Courtenay.

City council approves downtown revitalization plan

Plan adopted at the Sept. 6 council meeting

It’s official: Courtenay city council has given the green light to a visionary revitalization plan for downtown Courtenay.

The “Downtown Courtenay Playbook: A Partnership Action Plan” presents a long-term overarching vision and goals, along with a list of actions and broad timelines to help achieve them. Council adopted the plan at the Sept. 6 council meeting.

The plan is the culmination of a nearly year-long consultation process, with collaboration by the Courtenay staff and council, the business community, and the general public.

Ian Buck, the City of Courtenay’s director of development services, said community involvement and partnerships were instrumental to the plan.

“We are very grateful for the level of participation that we received throughout the development of this action plan,” noted Buck. “The enthusiasm we received from the community was a driving force behind this project.

“This was a great opportunity to recognize how important downtown Courtenay is to the entire community, and to set out a clear vision and goals that we can all share.”

The adoption of the plan by council marks the transition to the next phase of the downtown revitalization process.

“This isn’t the end of the work, with the plan ending up on a shelf,” said Buck. “This plan contains specific tasks to keep the process moving forward.”

The plan is based on three guiding principles: bringing more people to the greater downtown area, connecting downtown to the surrounding area in all directions and through all modes of transportation, and encouraging a wide range of activities and opportunities, day and night, year-round.

Mayor Larry Jangula said the plan has created anticipation and high expectations for the next steps in the future of downtown.

“This plan represents a tremendous amount of work by many people,” he said. “The bar has been set very high. Now we just need to work on funding and the many other challenges that pursuing these goals will entail. It’s going to be a long-term process, but having this solid vision to work towards will help keep the process on track.”

The next step will be the formation of an internal interdepartmental project team to implement the action items, followed by additional consultation and collaboration with local organizations and individuals. Further investigation of the recommendations will be required to determine which are the most financially feasible, particularly for any that could be considered “quick wins” that wouldn’t require significant up-front investment. Specific projects will be brought to council for review and approval. Staff will also provide an annual progress report to council at the end of each year.

To view the plan and other information about downtown Courtenay revitalization, visit www.courtenay.ca/downtown. For more information, please contact City of Courtenay Development Services at 250-334-4441.