Kayla Jessen - Airdrie Election 2017 FB Group
August 14 at 11:01pm
Question for candidates. What is your stance on downtown redevelopment? What do you see as the pros and cons? Further and very specifically to that, what is your stance on the city owning rental space and using the revenue to offset operational costs of civic infrastructure?
Hello Again Kayla, Thank you for engaging so much in this election and bringing these questions out.
A) Do I believe that downtown redevelopment is necessary? Absolutely!
When the city did the Downtown Visioning Exercises between January and March, the response on the state of the current downtown was less than favorable.
“a) 87% of the survey opinions about the current state of the downtown are negative vs. positive;
b) 43% of the survey respondents indicated that there is ‘nothing’ unique about the downtown;
c) the current state of the downtown receives a score ranging between 4.47–4.62 out of 10, and;
d) workshop participants made far more negative comments about the downtown than positive in that particular consultation format;
2. Respondents from the survey, workshops and focus groups collectively agree that there is potential and desire for the downtown be improved. Overall, the majority of residents would prefer to see action taken to improve the downtown as opposed to leaving it in its current state. This is reflected in the approximately 80/20 ratio of comments received which stated a desire to see unique downtown items (or lack thereof) improved – rather than left in the current state.” – Downtown Visioning Exercise Results (City of Airdrie)
As a city, we need to work together to create a financially responsible, functional plan for our downtown that will not only create an engaging place for our citizens to gather in and enjoy, but to create something that is significant to: where we came from and where would like to go. A more vibrant downtown core would drive business in the city, as it would be a more inviting place for us to spend our money in. In addition, by having an interesting drawing feature to our downtown, we would attract tourism dollars and larger businesses to bring outside money into our city.
The need for a project like this is evident. We just need to find the best solution for how to get there. If elected, I would like to re-visit the planning process for this and create more opportunities for citizens to have their input on the overall feel and planning in this process.
The obvious con to this project would be cost as well as the impact on surrounding residential properties. Including things like city owned spaces for lease would help to offset the costs and would provide more opportunities for businesses to start up within the community. Also, working with neighbouring property owners and businesses would be necessary.
B) Many cities throughout Alberta and Canada own rental space for the very specific reason that you stated. Airdrie should not be any different. It makes solid financial sense to lease out city owned properties to offset costs.
For more information on the Downtown Visioning Data Results; visit https://www.airdrie.ca/getDocument.cfm?ID=4722
For more information on how we will move the city forward together; visit www.tinapetrow.com
Content added by Tina Petrow.