The District of Elkford officially released the results of the public engagement workshops held in October pertaining to the development of their upcoming Downtown Master Plan (DMP), a document created in collaboration with the public to establish a long term vision for the downtown core.
The DMP seeks to highlight Elkford’s natural beauty while creating a vibrant downtown that serves all ages and abilities through business investments, recreational opportunities and community oriented amenities.
“It’s essential to gather the thoughts and feelings of the community when planning something as important as development of a downtown area; this space is for everyone,” said Jeremy Johnston, director of planning and development services for the District of Elkford.
“Community members often think with a different lens than subject matter experts, and these insights are incredibly valuable to the planning and design process. Ultimately, to become a successful and vibrant place, the final product should be reflective of the Elkford community’s vision and values.”
According to Johnston, project coordinators engaged with over 120 people between the online survey and the in-person events, which consisted of six workshops and WalkShops with stake holders, city council, and the public both on site and off site.
Johnston noted that an interesting theme that emerged from the workshops was a desire to keep building construction and forms affordable to help keep rental costs for future business owners low. Many participants also suggested that the plan include space for more flexible or temporary commercial activity such as farmers markets or pop-up retail and mobile food vendors.
According to Johnston, consultants are now using the public’s feedback in combination with their knowledge of best practices in urban design and landscape architecture to devise two options for the future development of downtown Elkford. These options will be presented to the public for further input and suggestions, and eventually be narrowed down to one preferred concept to take to the planning process. Residents of Elkford can expect to peruse the available concepts before 2021.
Anyone interested in reading the engagement summary may access it on the project’s website at arcg.is/0G5j04.