Proposed amendments to the Official Plan and Zoning By-law, along with ongoing parking studies will create a more flexible and progressive policy environment within Milton’s downtown with a vision that supports businesses and community members alike.
Community input related to proposed Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments was received at a public meeting on Monday, April 24. The first phase of results for a downtown parking study was also provided to Milton’s Committee of the Whole to address the potential implications of downtown development related to parking supply and demand in the area.
“The long-term sustainability of our downtown is critical to being a vibrant, connected and complete community, as defined in our Destiny Milton 3 Strategic Action Plan,” said Milton Mayor Gord Krantz. “We will continue to take steps with zoning, policies, and public engagement to ensure our downtown remains a strong focal point for the entire community.”
The Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments are the first steps to implement the recommendations of the Milton’s Downtown Study, which was endorsed by Milton Council in January 2017. A new designation entitled Downtown Supportive Area encourages pedestrian-friendly, street-oriented development that complements heritage and creates a buffer between commercial uses and adjoining residential properties. Active Frontages, a new overlay designation encompasses properties fronting Main Street, between Martin Street and James Street to the north and Sixteen Mile Creek and Brown Street to the south. This area will reinforce the character of lively, pedestrian-oriented and interactive street fronts. A technical report will be brought forward for Council’s consideration at a later date which will respond to any issues or concerns raised through the public and agency consultation process.
As part of a longer-term parking analysis, the Town retained consultants to conduct a study to determine parking utilization, duration and turnover within municipal parking lots and on-street parking areas in the downtown area. This parking analysis will help to identify the implications of the development within the downtown on parking supply and demand. The study noted that weekday on-street marked parking and off-street parking exceeded 90%; at 85% people have difficulty finding a parking space, resulting in the potential for individuals needing to drive around to look for a space or leaving the area. Saturday peak parking demand was estimated at exceeding 100% for these same areas.
Proposed land use policy changes and further parking studies will guide the continued development of a healthy downtown core, complete with a civic precinct presence, a focus on heritage preservation and providing pedestrian-friendly surroundings, which will serve as a gathering place for businesses, residents and visitors.
For information on projects related to the Downtown Study, visit www.milton.ca/downtownstudy.