Attracting younger families and extending the waterfront boardwalk should be the city’s priorities, according to visitors to Parksville’s official community plan (OCP) booth at the July 31 Summer by the Sea Craig Street Market.
OCP consultants, Urban Systems, offered the public a chance to review initiatives identified so far and choose how they would spend their limited sand dollars in a budgeting game.
Staff said it was well received, with 58 people taking part including a number who sought them out, having heard they would be there.
From 16 initiatives, the top three ranked by all participants were: 1. attract younger families; 2. extend the boardwalk; and a tie 3. purchase environmentally sensitive lands and make a business case for an arts centre.
Excluding the 16 non-Parksville resident responses, the priorities shift slightly to: 1. extend the boardwalk; 2. attract younger families; and 3. arts centre.
City communications officer Debbie Tardiff said that while non-scientific, the fact that both groups would like to see younger families in the community reflects what they have heard throughout the lengthy OCP review process.
Non-residents added “invest in downtown improvements” to the list as their third priority.
The results of a recent Ipsos Reid telephone survey of 300 residents on OCP issues will be presented to council and the public in the near future. Together these will help the OCP reflect the community’s wishes and priorities, Tardiff said.
The new OCP is scheduled to be completed around the end of this year.