The City is continuing to revise its Municipal Development Plan (MDP).
Right now, the plan’s revision is in a research phase, said Manager of Planning and Development Lyla Peter. “Right now we are doing a lot of background research.” She added the City is reading through its own documents, government documents and those of other communities while making notes and finding what seem like good ideas for Lacombe and what may not work so well here.
While it is in the first steps of a long process of updating the plan, Peter said it is important that the public knows what is going on and to that effect the City has launched an aggressive awareness campaign.
Readers may have noticed that the Lacombe Express has been running a series of articles and advertisements regarding the MDP in the past few weeks. Through these pieces, the City hopes to both educate and gain feedback from the general public of Lacombe.
“We also wanted to get the people involved in this,” said Peter. “So we’re taking these topics and we’re raising awareness that these are the topics we will be looking at. We’re just trying to start a conversation.”
In the New Year, the City will begin a more formal consultation process with the community through a number of workshops. At that time, the City will begin looking for direct feedback from Lacombians on how they want Lacombe to look in the future.
When updating the MDP, it is important to remember not only that the plan will affect what Lacombe looks like in the near future, but that it will be in place for the next several decades as well. As such it is important to think about how things will look several years down the road.
Peter said Lacombians and the City need to remember that Lacombe’s new areas won’t be new in 30 years. City’s evolve and the demographics of neighbourhoods change. Children of families in young neighbourhoods grow up, buildings and infrastructure age and population changes with people moving in and out of the City.
“It’s kind of this constant cycle. So we have to plan for those cycles.”
Jennifer Kirchner, planner for the City of Lacombe, gave an example of how that planning might affect neighbourhoods. While setting up playgrounds in every available park space of an area that has a lot of young children might seem like a good idea now, those playgrounds will not serve much purpose in the future should the area later become inhabited by mostly seniors. The key to creating a successful plan, said Kirchner, is making spaces that can be adapted for different uses.