Thursday, October 18, 2012

Waterfront land use the focus at Chamber of Commerce luncheon

A lack of access and use of the portions of the  waterfront by the city's residents has become a flash point of discontent between some residents and the large industrial land owners on the Prince Rupert waterfront.

It's among the most contentious issue of the day of late in Prince Rupert (at least if the growing file of letters to the editor to the Northern View (see below) is any indication), the waterfront and what to can be done to develop it beyond industrial use.

The Northern View-- CN certainly not a good neighbour in Prince Rupert
The Northern View-- Prince Rupert city council could take a hint from Kitimat
The Northern View-- Prince Rupert residents deserve better from CN and the Prince Rupert Port Authority
The Northern View-- An open letter to Pinnacle Pellet and the Prince Rupert Port Authority
The Northern View-- Location of proposed Prince Rupert pellet plant is 'ridiculous'
The Northern View-- Some more considerations about Prince Rupert's pellet plant proposal

The latest discussion topics have heated up owing to the development of the Pinnacle Pellet Plant project and the recent moves by CN to restrict access to the freight yard area. While some residents, especially those in the areas of development at the moment have their own agendas to service on that debate, the larger issue of a grand design that offers up a more accessible waterfront continues on, with the City seeking to gain more feedback from its residents.

Prince Rupert City Planner Zeno Krekic addressed some of those issues with a speech to the Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce this week, dealing specifically with the Waterfront East Land Use Plan which stretches from the Kwinitsa Station area through Cow Bay to Rushbrook, Seal Cove and Sourdough Bay road areas.

The full scope of the City's Waterfront East Land Use Plan can be found on the City website which traces the background of the plan and the steps involved thus far to move it forward.

The area in question is a vast tract of mainly undeveloped, under-utilized or seemingly abandoned land that has a variety of issues to resolve before any kind of development can take place.

Most of the issues it seems involving the remediation of old industrial land for other uses or what seems to be intransigence from federal officials who still hold title on other sectors of the land.

Among some of the ideas that Krekic suggested for land use in those regions were such things as ziplines, canopy trails and even housing in some areas.

Some of the Eastern Lands in question will fall under the umbrella of the Port Corporation, which has recently provided a proposal for development of the Atlin Terminal portion of the waterfront, one which would greatly revitalize and transform that particular stretch of the city, making it a much more people friendly destination.

The goal we imagine would be to offer up a vision of the Eastern waterfront region to be dedicated to the recreational/commercial aspect of waterfront development, leaving the Western side to the more industrial use that once dotted that stretch of the waterfront.

As for the City's Land Use plans, local residents can examine their prospectus at a public forum on November 7th at the Lester Centre, the committee that is on the waterfront file will be seeking further input from local residents on the issue of waterfront access, we imagine, owing to the latest debate they may find a large gathering in attendance.

The Northern View-- Prince Rupert City planner discusses land use plan 

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