Open green space, a modified grid road system and high density housing are some of the features Brandonites would like to see incorporated in the development plans for the North Hill.
Called the North Brandon Gateway Secondary Plan, the city is working to develop a long-term vision for a parcel of land, spanning approximately 160 acres, between First and 18th streets south of the Trans-Canada Highway.
A second community consultation was recently held to get feedback from the public.
"The common theme was everyone wanted to see a high amenity value in the neighbourhood, meaning high quality public spaces," said Ryan Nickel, the city’s acting senior planner. "Since the golf course is there right now and a lot of people are tied to and used to having quite a large open space there … they want a similar type of amenity in a future neighbourhood that provides connections to some sort of quality amenity areas and park areas."
Roughly 30 people came out to the consultation last week at Kirkcaldy Heights School, where they were broken into groups to consider various options.
There were four road structure ideas presented: grid, organic, radial and modified grid. Nickel said most of the feedback indicated that residents would like to see a mixture of organic and structured grid.
"They did like the connectivity provided by the traditional grid, but also understanding that the typography is varied and it would be nice to provide some visual interest as well as some different gateway features and views," Nickel said.
The northern boundary of the secondary plan zone is the Trans-Canada Highway, while the southern reach of the zone spans to Clare Avenue, and touches land occupied by the Glendale and Monterey Estates mobile home parks and the Northern Pines Golf Course.
When it came to density ideas, Nickel said the high density option was preferred.
"I think there was a general consensus that this neighbourhood would be a higher density than probably what we’re used to in other areas of the city," he said.
It’s expected that the plan will include four-storey apartment buildings on the outskirts of the development, while the interior will have more of a mixture of low- and medium density dwellings, such as single-family homes and semi-detached duplexes.
"Based on the amount of commercial land around the area … the higher-density housing was seen as maybe more of a transition between those commercial areas," Nickel said.
As for green space, many people said they would like to see a linear park model, to provide trail connections throughout the neighbourhood rather than small parks scattered across the area.
Consultants from Planning Alliance will take the feedback received from the community, along with other analysis to create option plans for the development.
"They’ll work with administration on finalizing a final option plan and bringing that forward to the public," Nickel said.
Once complete, the plan will provide a comprehensive development framework for the city-owned land, including land use, road networks, active transportation and pedestrian connections, urban design and development phasing.
The next community consultation is slated for late March.
"As usual, I want people to continue to be involved throughout the entire process," Nickel said. "It was great to see people show up to the second stage and hopefully those people that missed this last one will still come out at the end to take a look at what we’ve come up with. I think it’ll be pretty exciting for the city."