Posted on 22 August 2012 by Keith Lacey
There appears to be a common misconception by some residents that major changes are coming to the town’s downtown core because of the recent Downtown Sidewalk Survey that was conducted by town staff, says Mayor Stu Wells.
He has heard from citizens who believe ideas discussed in the survey like removing angle parking and replacing it with parallel parking are imminent, but that’s no reality, said Wells.
The survey was all about starting engagement with downtown business owners and members of the public to try and create a more vibrant and active downtown core and nothing discussed in the survey is imminent and no changes are coming unless they are discussed in detail and debated by members of council, said Wells.
Issues like allowing downtown restaurants to place tables and chairs on the sidewalk outside their establishment and the idea of introducing parallel parking instead of angle parking were up for discussion in the survey, but nothing has been decided at all, said Wells.
Every serious issue that emanates from the survey will be discussed at length by members of council before any decisions are made, said Wells.
Chief administrative officer Barry Romanko said the survey was a way of allowing business owners and the general public to comment on ideas and proposals designed to improve the vibrancy of the downtown core and anyone who believes significant change is coming without debate amongst councillors is misinformed.
“The public has spoken through the survey, but there was never any intention of moving ahead with anything without council debate,” said Romanko.
The good news is more than 550 people took the time to complete the survey and 80 per cent agreed they are in favour of taking steps to try and make downtown Osoyoos more vibrant and active, said Coun. Mike Plante.
“The survey shows you can see people want a more vibrant downtown and that’s what this is all about in my opinion,” he said.
Council will look at all key issues over the next several months.
“Let’s start looking at this in smaller pieces … one issue at a time,” said Wells. “We can look at individual items because some are going to have budget implications.”