Developed by Urban Systems, Houston’s Downtown Beautification Plan plan aims to increase activity downtown by attracting and encouraging new local businesses and making the downtown area more attractive for people passing along the highway. (Urban Systems image)

Houston’s Downtown Beautification Plan approved

Modular seating, community barn and decorative crosswalks recommended

Houston is one step closer to receiving a makeover now that council has adopted the district’s much-anticipated Downtown Beautification Plan.

Developed by Urban Systems, the plan aims to increase activity downtown by attracting and encouraging new local businesses and making the downtown area more attractive for people passing along the highway.

READ MORE: Downtown beautification plan moves forward

It builds on the need to diversify the district’s economy in light of the challenges facing the local forest products industry.

The plan identifies a number of challenges facing downtown, including the lack of a cohesive identity, the number of empty lots and spaces, the lack of places attractive enough to entice people to linger and stay downtown, and the fact that visibility of the downtown area from the highway – despite its proximity to it – is poor.

But according to the plan, these same problems present opportunities. The district’s best bet is to encourage the development of already vacant lands scattered throughout the area. These empty spaces have the highest potential for development in the downtown – either as new businesses or as plaza space.

The plan proposes a community barn and plaza space that would be visible to highway motorists, and would act as a landmark anchor to the Poulton Avenue corridor. Other recommendations to improve Houston’s appeal include modular seating, decorative hanging baskets and wall screens.

In addition, the plan envisions utilizing decorative crosswalks and thematic patterns sandblasted into the sidewalks as tools to enhance visitor experience in the downtown, as well as a way to lead pedestrians to key locations in Houston.

When it comes to managing highway intersections on 9th Street and Butler Avenue, however, the plan conflicts with the district’s existing Hwy. 16 Improvement Project. After completing upgrades to the north-side sidewalk of Hwy. 16, the district is seeking funding to upgrade the south side of the highway, which is estimated to cost $1.5 million.

As a next step, council has requested that district staff review the contents of both plans.

“Staff will be presenting information to council and seeking direction on council’s preference for traffic management prior to proceeding with highway sidewalk and intersection upgrades,” said Gerald Pinchbeck, the district’s chief administrative officer.

It is anticipated that sidewalk and intersection upgrades on the south side of Hwy. 16 will occur no sooner than 2021, he adds.

The District of Houston also continues to seek funding to implement the Downtown Beautification Plan.

READ MORE: Houston seeks funding to complete projects

READ MORE: Houston residents weigh in on downtown revitalization


 

@flavio_nienow
flavionienow@gmail.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

College could offer training programs this fall

But has no plans to re-establish a physical presence

Bath day

The Houston Volunteer Fire Department, Perry Slaney and Fred Brown were out… Continue reading

Emergency service day in Houston

The second annual emergency service day was held on July 11 in… Continue reading

New CAO starts at RDBN

Curtis Helgesen started as the new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the… Continue reading

Looking good Houston

The District of Houston, maintenance crew recently replaced the old banners through… Continue reading

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Two toddler siblings found drowned on First Nation in Alberta

The siblings were found drowned on their family’s property, according to RCMP

Chiefs honour Indigenous leader wrongfully hanged in B.C. 154 years ago today

Chief Joe Alphonse says they want his remains returned to his homeland in B.C.’s Cariboo region

Rare white ravens spotted again on Vancouver Island

Nature photographer Mike Yip said mysterious birds back in Coombs area

Most Read