Big ideas for Abbotsford’s future

Official community plan update sets out seven key concepts

The Abbotsforward community plan update is underway.

The Abbotsforward community plan update is underway.

As Abbotsford plans for its future, the focus will be on seven key concepts: create a city centre; establish distinct neighbourhoods; make walking, cycling and transit delightful; design places for people; foster natural beauty; enhance agricultural integrity; and, finally, make it work.

Those are the big ideas that came out of the second stage of Abbotsforward, the city’s official community plan (OCP) update, following community consultations that included more than 4,000 interactions with residents.

The OCP is a document that guides decision-making on growth and development in a city.

Brent Toderian, the consultant on the OCP project, spoke to council last Monday about the various ideas, but emphasized that the seventh idea – make it work – is different than the rest.

He said implementation of the plan is the most important part, adding that plan itself states that it “will not sit on a shelf collecting dust.” While this is not typical language for such a plan, it is indicative of the message they want to send, he said.

Toderian said things are being done differently to send a strong message about how “when this plan is challenged – which we all know it will be – that both council, staff and the community are prepared to stand up and fight for the plan to be achieved and followed and respected.”

He said the first challenge will be how council addresses the projects that are being considered by the city now, as it will impact how things develop in the future.

The new concepts report can be viewed at www.abbotsforward.ca/stage2report.

Abbotsforward staff will be out in the community over the summer to share the ideas through a summer fair and neighbourhood walks, and in the fall to receive input for developing growth scenarios through more road shows, citizen circles, and stakeholder workshops.

More information visit www.abbotsforward.ca.