By Chad Ingram
Minden Hills councillors got an update on the creation of a community improvement plan for Minden during an April 25 meeting.
got an overview of the draft plan process from Stephanie L. Bergman of
Stantec Consulting, the firm Minden Hills has retained for the creation
of the plan. The process got underway last summer, with the
establishment of a community improvement plan task force that includes a
number of downtown commercial property owners along with township reps.
A public open house was held in August.
Bergman explained, a community improvement plan allows council, through
a bylaw, to establish a physical area wherein the township can offer
financial incentives to private property owners – both residential and
commercial – for physical improvements to their properties.
municipalities through the Municipal Act are prohibited from actually
contributing funds to private properties,” Bergman said, explaining that
a section of the Planning Act allows councils to create a framework to
do that, through the creation of community improvement plans. “It’s a
tool that allows council to offer grants and loans for the purposes of
physical improvements to private property.”
idea is that the improved aesthetics of a community encourage more
visitors and enhance its economic development opportunities.
big thing that we’ve heard . . . the downtown buildings, they just need
a bit of a facelift,” Bergman said, adding there are also quite a few
vacant buildings and properties throughout Minden’s downtown and
neighbourhood surrounding the downtown that could benefit from new
said the firm also received feedback about the lack of rental housing
in Minden, and said that more gateway signage and infrastructure along
Highway 35 would be beneficial to the downtown.
“We know this is a main thoroughfare to so many cottaging areas further north,” she said.
draft community improvement plan will also draw on the Minden Village
Development Master Plan, a document produced for the township by AECOM
Canada in 2014.
Minden Village CIP will be supportive of the public realm strategy
included within the Minden Village Redevelopment Master Plan,” a report
from Stantec reads. That plan included suggestions for improved gateway
signage along Highway 35, improved traffic flow, increased parking,
improved pedestrian flow and beautification and revitalization of the
firm is also suggesting more cohesive streetscaping elements to make
the walk “across the bridge” from the main drag toward the Minden Hills
Cultural Centre more enticing.
the pedestrian experience, it seems like quite a far ways away to take
that walk across the bridge to walk down to the library and the cultural
centre, but in reality, it’s really not,” Bergman said.
appendix part of Stantec’s report includes an inventory of historic
Minden buildings – some residential, some commercial and most dating
between 1900 and 1930 – as well as an assessment of the current
integrity of the buildings.
firm is suggesting that the community improvement area – the area in
which property owners would be able to apply for financial incentives –
include Minden’s downtown core and neighbourhoods immediately outside.
Residents are encouraged to take an online survey regarding the community improvement plan by visiting https://mindenhills.ca/