January 15, 2020 - It was a busy evening for the presentation of Port Stanley's
newest edition of its Harbour Secondary Plan. The arena was filled with concerned
citizens eager to find out more about what new vision this ever evolving plan may
offer. Creating this long term vision and plan to repurpose the Port Stanley Harbour
lands and plan their integration with adjacent waterfront areas in Port Stanley
has been a Central Elgin priority ever since the divestiture of the harbour to the
Municipality on September 8, 2010. What happens in and to Port Stanley's Harbour
has been and will always be the most difficult task to date to get right.
The newest plan builds upon previous editions to hone in on land use designations,
policies and provide a guide with step by step planning and offering location recommendations
for specific land uses, such as parks, recreation, retail and tourist commercial,
both primary housing and second or vacation homes and infrastructure investment.
Using a "Harbour Vision" guide that visualizes Port Stanley as a vibrant community
with a unique character, beautiful landscapes and beaches, with a strong sense of
community, and as an active commercial fishing village that is valued by its residents
and enjoyed by its visitors.
Having hope for a future with a waterfront that will continue to be publicly accessible,
with a range of facilities that support passive and active recreational uses which
serve the existing and future residents and visitors. Important views of the lake
will be maintained and enhanced through the sensitive design and careful planning
of new development on the Harbour lands.
Thoughtful repurposing of the Harbour lands to leverage the assets of the Port Stanley
community while still providing new opportunities for year-round amenities that
can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Provide new facilities that will support healthy,
active lifestyles of existing and future residents and visitors. Port Stanley Harbour
will celebrate its history as an industrial port and will maintain and support its
active commercial fisheries.
New uses that will support sustainable options for people to live, work, shop and play
in Port Stanley. New uses that will also enhance the choices available for accommodations
within Port Stanley, including housing encompassing a range of affordability, shorter
stay accommodations for visitors, and new retail uses to serve the needs of the
community and visitors. The development of the Harbour lands will be planned with
a range of uses to be financially self-sustaining with revenue generation as a focus
for the long term. The Harbour Plan area has the potential to accommodate ±1600
people by 2041.
Land use for the Harbour is planned to be split into 30% for residential uses such
as Low-rise 4 story apartments with ground floor retail or service commercial and
a 6 story Hotel/Conference Centre. Community Facilities will occupy the other 70%
which includes a waterfront pedestrian promenade and bike path, park, open space,
vehicle access and public parking. By following the current plan it is anticipated
that after all Municipal services, roads, etc. have been installed and all associated
plans, planning fees, etc. that get added to this project, that it will cost the
taxpayer nothing, in fact will supplement Central Elgin's coffers by $45,000.
During the final question and answer period of the meeting it was clearly demonstrated with concerns
like pedestrian crosswalks, not enough parking in the right places, too many buildings, storm water
control issues, buildings too high, regulations for short-term rentals, and talking
about the cultural transition of the Port Stanley Community, that although this edition
of the Port Stanley Harbour Secondary Plan has come a long way, there’s still a need
for a wee bit more.