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At Monday's C.O.W. (Committee of the Whole) Council meeting, Council will be asked to approve an extension of the consultant's contract for the preparation of the Downtown Master Plan to include a Community Improvement Plan for an additional $27,920.  This would help planning of land and buildings that need rehabilitation and seems to be a Provincial requirement for grants requested for this purpose.  Further, a contract extension is cheaper than a separate contract since some of the work overlaps.

CAO Stephen Peacock's covering memo said:

A Community Improvement Plan (CIP) is an innovative, flexible tool found in the Planning Act which is intended to support and encourage renewal, rehabilitation, revitalization and re-development in targeted areas. By using a strategic approach, CIP's can help municipalities provide a means of planning and financing development activities [my emphasis] that effectively use, reuse and restore lands, buildings and infrastructure, as well as address growth management challenges, intensification, energy efficiency, accessibility, affordable housing and marketing initiatives.

Many of the CIP programs would not be available to the Master Plan without this work being done.

It is felt that this work will be required whether completed at this time or sometime in the future.

Stephen Peacock commented on the need for a CIP to be in place to get grants: "This work will allow for a number of financial incentives to be defined and come into play that would not be otherwise available in the downtown area."

A CIP includes a meeting for public input and must be approved by the Province. It is also subject to appeal via the OMB so is similar to an Official Plan.

A narrower focus CIP was completed for the Tannery property in 2009-10 but the new CIP would apply to other buildings and land in downtown Cobourg that need rejuvenating.  Looks like the Province recognized the problem when implementing legislation came into effect in January 2007.

A quick Google search of "Community Improvement Plan" finds that Oshawa, Kingston, Trent Hills and a large number of other communities already have CIPs - so Cobourg is a bit late to the party.  Better late than never.


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