Lantz says approach suggested by Ekistics will improve development
Halifax waterfront from www.canadatourism.travel
Anyone who has visited Halifax’s waterfront will have some idea of what Charlottetown has in mind, says the city’s chair of planning.
Coun. Rob Lantz isn’t suggesting Charlottetown is going to copy exactly what Halifax offers but the point is to entice people to use it and provide them with things to do and see.
“It invites you to stroll and stop in the parks and plazas and be active or just stop and people watch,’’ Lantz said after listening
to a Dartmouth-based planning and design firm
make suggestions for the future of Charlottetown’s waterfront.
“Anyone who visits the great cities of the world will notice there are high-quality parks and plazas and public amenities. You know when you’re in a high-quality public space.’’
Lantz believes adopting the new waterfront master plan is a good step for advocates of development and for those who advocate for lots of accessible public space with high-quality amenities.
Ekistics suggests Charlottetown adopt form-based planning rather than
the current conventional style.
Form-based practices translate into a common vision instead of piecemeal development.
“It’s really just starting to catch on in Canada. There really aren’t many mysteries in urban planning anymore. We know what results in good outcomes and we’re trying to implement those kinds of policies here now.’’
Lantz said the way
properties on the
waterfront are zoned now council can agree or disagree on just about anything.
“There is far too much discretion on the part
of council and there is
far too much restriction on the part of how things
are developed. It’s not good for anyone the way
our bylaws are written
right now for the waterfront.’’
The approach Ekistics is talking about has met with great success in Halifax and has been extremely popular in the United States.
“This form-based approach to zoning has far more concentration on quality and form of the development rather than the use which our current bylaw deals with; far more in detail, we think. It’s going to result in much better development.’’
Lantz said it gives developers the opportunity to develop as dense as they need to get a return on their investment “which is becoming a problem in Charlottetown under our current bylaws.’’
He said it also enables smaller footprints leaving as much green space as possible.
“We’re fully committed.
I am at least. The
city needs to come to the
table to provide high-quality public amenities around what we expect to
be high-quality developments.’’