Engagement with Crawford Hill residents began with a neighbourhood open house in January 2020, which was attended by 35 members of the public. At this meeting Town staff presented an overview of the site including: rationale, geography and history of the site, Official Community Plan (OCP) support, options and opportunities. Residents provided a wide range of feedback, comments, and concerns which staff recorded for consideration by Council. Options for the site that were discussed at this open house included opening the site as a public open space, developing the lands for residential use, and maintaining the status quo. Overall, the neighbourhood appeared to support the opening of the site as a public open space, provided further consultation and consideration were given to issues including protection of private property, site maintenance / cleanliness, and managing access.
Staff indicated to residents that site tours would be planned for the spring, as most people had never had the opportunity to view the entirety of the site. Following the open house, staff presented Council with a summary of the feedback received to date, and Council directed staff to develop a preliminary site plan for use of the site as public open space, and to present this plan to the residents of Crawford Hill at an upcoming public meeting for further discussion. Unfortunately, tours and all subsequent engagement opportunities were postponed for the remainder of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March of 2021, Council directed staff to resume consultation with Crawford Hill residents and property owners, taking into account COVID-19 precautions. A conceptual site plan was sent out with an invitation to participate in upcoming site tours and a virtual open house. Rather than conducting a single group tour, individual tours were booked with attendance limited to one household per tour. In total 18 households (45-50 people) participated in these tours and offered valuable feedback on the conceptual site plan. A virtual open house was also held with 7 households in attendance. Feedback was recorded from these events and from written letters, and presented to Council on April 27th with an updated conceptual site plan.
Based on the comments received during the consultation events, Council requested that staff make further updates to the conceptual site plan in order to address additional feedback, and to present the updated conceptual site plan to Council for a decision on implementation at an upcoming meeting. On May 25th, Council directed staff to begin implementation of the updated conceptual site plan, paving the way for the eventual opening of the site as a public open space later in 2021.
Consultation has concluded