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What Should Collingwood Be Like in the Future?

Posted by Sherry Rioux on March 8, 2009

Our daily lives are dramatically impacted by the liveability of the community we live in.  Access to  transit, our civic spaces, community amenities and the form of new development around us impact us the way building heights, trees and sidewalks more obviously do.

The Town of Collingwood is undertaking the development of  Urban Design Standards.  Not guidelines but, actual and enforceable standards.   They will direct the way new commercial, industrial, and multi-unit development will look and function in Collingwood.

According to a presentation made to council in December, the purpose of the Project is to develop urban design standards that will:

1. direct new development that is guided by the community’s Official Plan, Council policy,
various policy documents and past community participation processes;
2. improve livability within the community;
3. ensure a high quality of design and function within, and adjacent to, new commercial
industrial, and multi-unit residential development;
4. reduce environmental impacts associated with new commercial, industrial, and multi-unit
residential development; and,
5. streamline the development application review process by providing clear and easily understood direction on urban design.

These have all been significant topics of interest in Collingwood over the last few years as the pace of growth has eclipsed anything we’ve seen before.  People worry about traffic, trees, pollution and parking. We argue passionately in this town about signage, about environmental impacts, about preserving heritage and about aesthetics.  People want liveable spaces that have a small town feel but urban amenities and most of all, locals don’t want to look like “Anytown, Canada.”

All of these issues and dozens more are being visited in the development of the new standards.  Community Planner, Robert Voigt is the lead on this project and as part of his consultative process, he has put up an excellent blog I would encourage everyone to read and react to.  There is a link on the left side of the page under “Documents” with his December 1, 2008 presentation to council.  It’s well worth it to click on that click and have a look at the dozens of photo’s on the last many pages showing examples of what we have and what is possible.

As the original chairperson of Collingwood’s Vision 2020 project, I’m excited about the way Robert thinks and hope his ideas will gather storm and ultimately, political will and support.

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