Newcastle-Brechin Neighbourhood Plan ready for final approval

The conclusion to a long-contested community plan could come to an end Monday (May 16) as council is expected to consider third reading and final adoption of the Newcastle-Brechin Hill Neighbourhood Plan.

At issue throughout most of the two-year process was the inclusion of highrises on the waterfront along Stewart Avenue, which some residents of Brechin Hill contested.

In April, city council approved a four-storey base height with proposals to go higher to be considered on a case-by-case basis as a compromise. Last week, residents and organizations had one last chance to voice their opinions,at a May 5 public hearing, before council votes on the issue.

“We’re looking forward to the implementation of the plan and all of the positives that go with it that will benefit our neighbourhood,” Lee-Anne Stark, a Newcastle neighbourhood resident, told the News Bulletin. “Amenities like traffic calming and bike lanes will be welcome.”

Stark added that despite the contentious and dominating highrise issue, there are many more components to the neighbourhood plan that would be implemented, should council approve it.

“It’s been a very intensive process,” said Deborah Jensen, Nanaimo city planner. “There is a lot of very good information in the neighbourhood plan and it would be nice to see it adopted so we can start implementing some of the things that are in it.”

If adopted, the plan will be included as an amendment to the Official Community Plan.

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