Shaping the Future of Chilliwack Proper and Fairfield Island Residential Neighbourhoods

Register for the October 19th workshop!  Click Here

Hurry, space is limited!   Play a key role in the planning process by participating in a Design Charrette Workshop on October 19th, from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm.

Your feedback is essential for developing a plan for your neighbourhood, so don’t delay and register right away!

The workshop is a small group focused discussion, about your neighbourhood. We’ll be talking about how growth and housing should occur in your neighbourhood and what it will look like. We will discuss topics such as appropriate location for different types of housing, urban design, transportation (improving cycling and walking routes and access to public transit) and community amenities. As space is limited, our goal is to have people from throughout the study area, of all ages and life stages participate with only one participant per household. Register above or call us at 604-793-2906 or email us at planning@chilliwack.com. Participants will need to commit to sharing and discussing ideas for the full 2.5 hour session, in small groups lead by a group facilitator. Discussion results will be used for consideration in developing a draft plan. Light refreshments and snacks will be available.

We are excited about the excellent turn-out and invite you to participate in additional opportunities for public participation in the planning process, as outlined in the attached letter. Please have a look at the ways to get involved and we hope to hear from you!

Review the presentation and display boards and maps illustrating project information and development scenarios displayed at the public meeting. 

Tell us what you think by sending us your comments and questions at planning@chilliwack.com, or give the Planning Department a call at 604.793.2906.

Neighbourhood Planning Area

The project planning area encompasses land surrounding the downtown (north of the CN Rail), including Fairfield Island. The City’s long range growth strategy envisions this area will accommodate moderate densification, increasing from a population of 9,000 to 13,000 by 2040.

In recent years, redevelopment pressures have been experienced east of downtown, where older homes on larger lots are reaching the end of their life expectancy. With the exception of the area immediately east of Broadway, the planning area consists of properties that are primarily designated in the Official Community Plan for “low density residential” development, allowing for a mix of single family detached, duplex, coach houses and appropriately scaled townhouse development. A comprehensive planning approach is required to establish a clear vision and development guidelines to ensure development occurs in accordance with the OCP and neighbourhood aspirations.

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

A neighbourhood plan is a policy document that provides guidance and direction on a variety of topics, from land use and urban design, to housing, transportation and community amenities. It describes what a neighbourhood is like, and what it aspires to be into the future. It recognizes the parts of a community valued by its citizens, and addresses specific issues and initiatives of the area. It explains how the City is going to achieve the broader vision and goals of the community.

Existing Plan and Policies for the Neighbourhood

The 2040 Official Community Plan

The 2040 Official Community Plan presents a long term vision and growth management strategy that embraces all aspects of community development, ranging from physical planning (land use/transportation/utility), to economic development, environmental protection/enhancement, and social/cultural initiatives. At the same time, it addresses specific current and future challenges that confront Chilliwack and recommends practical solutions and a consistent strategy. Ultimately, the 2040 OCP represents a unified vision that brings all of the City’s initiatives, works and plans together and moves toward a healthier community.

The 2040 OCP sets clear directions for responsible growth management, within an Urban Growth Boundary, to protect agricultural land, through urban corridor densification and urban design regulation. Highest density residential and commercial development will be focused in the community cores of Chilliwack Proper (Downtown), Sardis and Vedder, while residential neighbourhoods are expected to accommodate some densification.

The OCP recognizes that the residential areas of Chilliwack Proper and Fairfield Island are established neighbourhoods of primarily single family detached housing. Within this area, along the major corridors of Broadway and Yale Road, the plan calls for higher density townhouse and apartment building development. The remaining area of predominantly single family detached houses, subject to special conditions and City development application processes, is open to new narrow lot single family dwellings, duplexes, coach houses and, in some cases, townhouses.

How Infill Development Occurs

All new infill development (narrow single family houses, coach houses, duplexes, and townhouses) is initiated by individuals interested in submitting a proposal and working through the City’s rezoning application process. Where properties are zoned for single family houses, a rezoning application is required. The OCP and Infill Development Policies are used by the City to evaluate a proposal.

Infill Development Policies

New infill development must meet the conditions outlined within the Infill Development Policies. The City’s Infill Development Policies were established to guide decision-making concerning rezoning and new zone proposals for new infill development within existing neighbourhoods throughout the City. The Infill Development Policies seeks to minimize the impact of new development on existing properties and to ensure new development is integrated in a manner that enhances the neighbourhood in terms of landscaping and walkability.

A New Approach

The City recognizes that with the current and projected rate of growth and development occurring in this area, these existing policies may not be working for the neighbourhood residents, which is why a neighbourhood plan is underway to determine if a new course of action should be taken and what it should look like to best meet the needs of the neighbourhood and the community as a whole.

The neighbourhood plan for Chilliwack Proper and Fairfield Island will take a closer look at the area to create a long-term vision and policy framework unique to these neighbouhoods for guiding future growth and development in a responsible, healthy and attractive manner.

Project Timeline

Here is our process and anticipated milestones.

SUMMER 2017 - BACKGROUND RESEARCH

What we did:

  • Various advisory committees and departments met to discuss the project and provide feedback.
  • On September 5, invitations were mailed out for the upcoming Public Meeting to be held September 20 to everyone within the neighbourhood plan area boundaries. Over 6,500 people were notified.
  • A Public Meeting was held September 20, to talk about the future of Chilliwack Proper and Fairfield Island Residential neighbourhoods and residential development possibilities. The public consultation process is to identify ideas, interests, and opportunities in the planning area boundary concerning land use and development possibilities.

What we’re doing:

We are reviewing feedback received from public meeting attendees, regarding known issues, opportunities and constraints, including assessing:

    • Current development – types of housing, infill design, and parking

    • Transportation network, transit, paths and trails, bike paths and other linkages

    • Urban design analysis: the physical landscape and public places

    • Environmentally significant areas, and areas for protection and stewardship, including the Hope River and Dyke infrastructure, environmental features and sensitivity

We are identifying additional opportunities for public participation in the planning process.

In early October, an online survey which builds on the public feedback we've received to date will go live. It will be available on the City's website.

FALL 2017 - DRAFT PLAN

What we’ll create:

  • A summary of all engagement
  • Based on feedback, after receiving input from the online survey and public meeting, a draft plan of land use and development design concepts will be prepared.

Who we will consult with:

  • The public and stakeholders: We will present the draft plan to the community and speak about the plan, implementation, and listen to comments, ideas or concerns regarding the document.

WINTER 2017 - FINAL PLAN REVIEW

What we’ll do:

  • Review all public feedback and prepare a final draft of the Neighbourhoods Plan
  • Present the plan to City Council to consider and approve.
  • Draft required changes to the Official Community Plan, Zoning Bylaw and other related documents to adopt the Plan.

 For additional information please contact the Planning Department at 604.793.2906.