Cedar residents have their say in main street changes

NANAIMO – Ideas for future of rural community taking shape

Residents’ ideas for the future of Cedar’s core are starting to take form.

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s Area A official community plan review found an appetite to create a new identity for the village of Cedar through a new land use designation process called the Cedar Main Street Land Use Designation.

Greg Keller, senior planner with the RDN, said a cross-section of about 80 Cedar residents recently took part in a design charette, coming up with 14 distinct ideas for Cedar’s main street.

“It’s the first time we’ve done this level of detailed planning for Cedar so it’s quite exciting and there has been a lot of support from the community,” said Keller. “Community buy-in and support are very important. I think a lot of people have been able to see the value of long-term planning and making sure in that knowing that change is coming, to have some way of looking and and participating in that change.”

Some of the elements included in the new plan include residential, employment, recreation and transportation. Ideas generated by participants are focused on encouraging development that is compatible with the area’s natural, rural setting while maintaining the village quality.

Cedar main street includes land located on both sides of Cedar Road between MacMillan and Hemer roads.

The goal, said Keller, is to create a more compact, walkable and complete community in Cedar as part of the Regional Growth Strategy.

“It’s not so much as encouraging development, but about providing direction with respect to what the community vision is,” he said. “This will provide direction in terms of if development is going to happen and how it should be done. Each piece of the puzzle must fit together.”

On Monday (March 26), the Cedar Main Street Design Project launched a website at www.cedarmainstreetconcepts.com to provide RDN Area A residents with results of the design charette. A questionnaire is also available on the website until May 7.

The next step of the process is to compile results from the questionnaire, submit them to the consultant working on the project, draft a final report and then build some draft guidelines for future public consideration.

Keller said he hopes to have the official community plan amendment process that will include the Cedar main street plan underway by the end of the year.


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