In a letter to the editor published April 1 in the Journal Pioneer, the Chamber urged Mayor and Council to adopt the award-winning Urban Redevelopment strategy for the stability and confidence it will provide as we guide future development in Summerside.
The well-researched and fact-based Urban Redevelopment Strategy was built using five years of consultations from Summerside citizens and business owners. The strategy uses applicable examples of other cities’ successes, and lessons from failures. This award winning strategy, created by experts in the field, can be looked at as nothing other than an exciting and encouraging strategy to ensure our growth and sustainability as a city, and will undoubtedly lead to an increase in those who choose Summerside for both their home and business.
An important aspect of the plan, form based code, was adopted by council, and will provide a checklist and clear guidelines for those who wish to develop new buildings in the downtown BIA. Form base code is meant to remove the influence from our changing councils with the creation of fair and consistent requirements for developers to meet. This important initiative will encourage developers to choose Summerside for the potential we all see by removing red tape and providing clear information on what is required to invest here.
While the Chamber and business community are excited for what this will bring, we are disappointed that city council did not adopt the strategy as a whole, but as a vision instead. Simply adopting the vision is no different than reading the strategy today and forgetting it in five years. Form based code can be made irrelevant if council continues to allow itself the ability to intervene in development on a case-by-case basis. The Chamber urges city council to adopt the strategy as a whole, so that all development considerations will be accountable to the plan, ensuring consistency, fairness, and stability. We believe that each piece of development contributes to the greater picture, and it is important that it is done strategically, rather than impulsively. Business relies on consistency. It is time to take the politics out of development.
Dan Kutcher, Sean Aylward,
President, GSCC VP, GSCC