Community consultant James van Hemert explains the community plan review process on Oct. 30 at the Midway Community Centre. (Jensen Edwards/Boundary Creek Times)

Midway asks for input on Official Community Plan

Residents gave their input on what to do with new land, youth resources and accessibility changes

Midway residents were once again asked for their input last week at a community planning open house, hosted on Oct. 30 at the Community Centre. The meeting was a first public step to update the Official Community plan, which was last reviewed in 2007.

Residents who participated were given green, yellow and red stickers and were asked to place the appropriate stickers beside statements, plans and ideas that have been proposed for Midway’s future.

One poster asked, “Where is the recent Village land purchase and what should we do with it?” The question referred to a swath of land south and west of the arena that abuts the Kettle River. The most popular recommendations were to extend the park and trail system through the land and build multi-unit housing on it – provided a trail could still cut between the river and the proposed buildings.

While local seniors have gathered in the hall this year with community consultant James van Hemert to discuss their priorities and needs in order to grow old in the community, last week’s session was open to all.

“Many of the things that will be done will benefit the whole community,” said van Hemert of the projects proposed in the seniors’ discussions.

“Like safer streets, more crossings, more sidewalks and more accessible [buildings],” he said. “Think about how someone with a stroller with a child has to use doors and the washrooms. The benefits that accrue to the elderly population – more push-button doors, better ramps and wider doors – will benefit young families as well.

“If this vision is followed to include all age categories, I believe it could be successful,” read one sticky note. “There is a future generation in this community as well.”

Several younger people who attended the meeting highlighted the need to create daycare spaces, recreation opportunities – such as the proposed spray park for McMynn Park – and other incentives to draw younger people back to the area.

“You can’t attract young families here without things for them,” read one sticky note left on a general comments poster at the meeting, appearing beside recommendations for a skateboard park, a swimming pool, a spray park and more arts and culture opportunities.

A graph of Statistics Canada census data from 2016 shows a steep drop off in population for adults in their early and mid-20s.

Van Hemert and an advisory committee will now be reviewing the feedback from the public to begin piecing together a coherent update. Another public meeting will then be held to discuss the findings.

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