Houston residents can now be involved in the process of beautifying their municipality.
The District of Houston is currently seeking the public’s input on its downtown revitalization plan, which is expected to be completed this fall.
“This plan, like all other planning documents, belongs to the community at the end of the day, and may impact decision making going forward,” said Gerald Pinchbeck, Houston’s Chief Administrative Officer. “We encourage all residents to participate in all engagement opportunities and leave their mark on this plan.”
Residents are being asked to complete an online survey, where they’re asked what they value most about downtown Houston; what are the biggest challenges facing downtown Houston and what is missing; and asked to choose five factors they think are most important to address in the downtown area.
Residents have until Sept. 22, 2018 to complete the survey, which can be found on the district’s website at https://www.houston.ca.
According to Pinchbeck, the survey responses will be incorporated into and inform the recommendations made by the downtown revitalization plan.
The plan is expected to provide a vision for managing and developing the downtown core into a welcoming and appealing commercial area within Houston that reflects the district’s “Naturally Amazing” community brand, as well as the values and needs of the community.
“The focus of the downtown revitalization plan will be identifying a unified vision for the downtown to make it stand out as a distinct area of Houston, and make it a more attractive place to stop for tourists and new businesses,” explained Pinchbeck earlier this year.
The district hopes that improving the general attractiveness of Houston will help with the district’s recruiting and retention efforts.
Local employers have reported continued difficulty in filling job vacancies. A district staff report states that employers in Houston are “suffering declines in the ability to meet client needs due to an inability to fill vacant positions.”
Earlier this summer council awarded the downtown beatification plan’s contract to Urban Systems – which is now developing the core planning document – for $34,505 plus applicable taxes.
According to the district, the cost to implement the downtown revitalization plan is still unclear since the core planning document has not yet been developed.
Houston council plans to ask the provincial government for financial assistance to implement the plan at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention, which will be held in Whistler next week.