Top News

Charlottetown residents largely pleased with Eastern Gateway waterfront concept

Charlottetown resident Andrea Battison asks a question during a public meeting on the Eastern Gateway Waterfront Master Plan at the Charlottetown Rodd Tuesday night. Battison told urban planner George Dark she was pleased to hear that he would rather see the Holland College parking lot eventually re-purposed.
Charlottetown resident Andrea Battison asks a question during a public meeting on the Eastern Gateway Waterfront Master Plan at the Charlottetown Rodd Tuesday night. Battison told urban planner George Dark she was pleased to hear that he would rather see the Holland College parking lot eventually re-purposed. - Mitch MacDonald

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - A long-term plan for the eastern entrance to Charlottetown is a promising idea as long as future city councils stick with the vision, say some residents.

“The expression is, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there,” said George MacDonald, a former mayor of Charlottetown, was one of about 100 people who attended a meeting for public input on the Eastern Gateway waterfront master plan at the Rodd Charlottetown Tuesday.

“I think this gives us some idea of where we’re going, and the only concern I would have is that hopefully, when something is in place, it won’t change. Because if some developer has an idea that will benefit him or her but no one else, and the council or CADC of the day says ‘yeah, OK, we’ll change it,’ then the vision is gone.”

MacDonald said he saw the vision more as a “Phase 2” continuation of the city’s boardwalk, Confederation Landing and the Charlottetown Event Grounds.

He said those pieces came together from an overall vision made years before and that residents were fortunate when elected officials and the Charlottetown Area Development Corporation followed it.

Residents have until noon Tuesday, June 26, to submit suggestions to Charlottetown City Hall to help shape the Eastern Gateway Waterfront Master Plan. The city’s planning board will meet on July 3 to decide on a recommendation for council, which will then vote on the plan July 9.

Many residents at the meeting praised the plan in general, while offering some minor changes.

Poll: Do you think a beach at the foot of the Charlottetown approach to the Hillsborough Bridge is a good idea?

Randy Campbell says he loves much of the plan, but he believes there should be a policy empowering council to relocate industrial users that don’t need to be on the waterfront.

George Dark.
George Dark.

“We’re really handcuffing council, and I think it’s going to prevent them from doing some of the important relocation that needs to happen (eventually),” he said.
Urban planner George Dark says it would be better to try and relocate those users “on a partnership basis (rather) than with a stick.”

“There is a natural trend for these things to resolve themselves, so we’re not trying to move these large industrial players out before their time,” said Dark. “We’re trying to change both the landscape and the nature of the city. One of the things that happens when you do that is you give strong value to a place and it actually makes it easier for them to leave because sometimes their land is worth a lot.”

Resident Andrea Battison asked whether the plan could see the Holland College parking lot re-purposed.

It was a suggestion Dark appeared to agree with, stating that a waterfront is not the best place for a parking lot in a city “run by tourism.”

“There is no guide to the best parking lot to go visit,” he said. “It might not be the first thing that you do, but I would prefer to see this land, rather than for the storage of cars, be put into a legacy format.”

Twitter.com/mitch_pei

Related: City of Charlottetown takes its Eastern Gateway Waterfront Master Plan back to public for discussion

Recent Stories