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City looks to re-open Centennial Library building

Coffee shop with patio, Tourism Abbotsford eyed as likely new tenants

The long-closed Centennial Library in Abbotsford’s Jubilee Park looks set for rejuvenation.

The city wants to reopen the currently unoccupied building, with new tenants to include Tourism Abbotsford, City Studio Abbotsford (a joint initiative with UFV), and a coffee shop with a patio.

Staff have asked council to rezone the property and tweak the Official Community Plan (OCP) to allow for the new occupants of the building. On Monday, the proposal came before council, which voted to forward the rezoning to a public hearing later this month.

“The proposed OCP amendment and rezoning text amendment to permit a coffee shop and a variety of civic uses will result in bringing people together and creating a unique people place within Jubilee Park,” staff wrote in a report. “The proposed patio can be used for a variety of activities such as seating overlooking the park, community activities and venues.”

Councillors have previously said they hope to minimize alterations to the OCP, with changes mostly limited to tweaks that meet the overarching goals of the 2016 document. Staff say in the report that the proposed alterations would do just that by clarifying that the open space designation applies to a broad range of activities. It notes that buildings on several such properties – including at Fishtrap Creek Park and Mill Lake Park – are used for recreation and civic activities.

“I think it’s really wonderful to see these proposed changes downtown,” Coun. Sandy Blue said.

At the prompting of Coun. Les Barkman, staff told council the construction of a new crosswalk across McCallum Road is scheduled to be upgraded in the early fall.