South Downtown Waterfront Committee releases report

Support of an evolving working harbour is amongst the guiding principles of the South Downtown Waterfront Committee’s vision of Nanaimo’s waterfront.

The five guiding principles and the committee’s final report were presented to the public Saturday and committee chairman David Witty said a productive, working harbour providing household’s sustaining employment should be encouraged and promoted.

Future harbour activities and usage should be complementary to and in the interests of the surrounding community, city and region and future industrial development should be strategic to the economic and social well-being of Nanaimo, he said.

“You want to have a place that has a lot of energy and vibrancy to it,” Witty told the News Bulletin.

He said marine transport is changing and thus Nanaimo’s harbour will change but in the committee’s view, it should still be a working habour but working in a different way.

“It might be light industrial/technology hubs, that sort of thing but a different notion of when we talk about working,” he said. “It’s still an employment area probably less on the marine transport, although having people movement less than movement of goods and having the marine service opportunity.”

The intent is to have the guiding principles frame conversations for many years to come and they are meant to be, as Witty explained, a “sieve” for development proposals to flow through.

“Do they fit or do they (conflict)? If they (conflict) it’s probably an issue or maybe the guiding principles have to be revisited in the future,” said Witty.

The report and guiding principles are the result of about seven months of work by the committee and included extensive consultation with the public.

A copy of the final report is available at the City of Nanaimo website.


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