Community Improvement Plan

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The Township of Muskoka Lakes is undertaking a Community Improvement Plan (CIP) for the communities of Port Carling and Bala. The Township’s new Economic Development Strategy recognizes downtown enhancement as a key priority for the growth of the local economy. One of the key functions of the Township’s economic development role is to ensure existing businesses are supported and well positioned to maintain and grow their employment opportunities and support a competitive business environment.

The purpose of the CIP will be to identify community priority areas/projects for revitalization, allowing the Township to direct capital project investments in a strategic manner

The Township of Muskoka Lakes is undertaking a Community Improvement Plan (CIP) for the communities of Port Carling and Bala. The Township’s new Economic Development Strategy recognizes downtown enhancement as a key priority for the growth of the local economy. One of the key functions of the Township’s economic development role is to ensure existing businesses are supported and well positioned to maintain and grow their employment opportunities and support a competitive business environment.

The purpose of the CIP will be to identify community priority areas/projects for revitalization, allowing the Township to direct capital project investments in a strategic manner. A CIP identifies improvements for the public realm – streets, parks and other public spaces and identifies financial incentive programs (grants and loans) and eligible works to encourage the private sector to revitalize and or develop their properties.

The CIP will include:

  • a review and update to current streetscape plans,
  • identification of target projects,
  • design guidelines to direct public realm improvements and development in the private realm,
  • incentive programs, and,
  • marketing tools.

What is a Community Improvement Plan?

It’s a planning tool used to support strategic community investment priorities.

How does a Community Improvement Plan stimulate investment?

It identifies improvements for the public realm – streets, parks and other public spaces and identifies financial incentive programs (grants and loans) and eligible works to encourage the private sector to revitalize and or develop their properties.

What happens after improvements and programs are identified?

Once the Community Improvement Plan is prepared, Council must adopt Official Plan policies and a by-law to designate the boundaries of the community improvement project areas.

How does this relate to the Official Plan Review currently underway?

New planning policies to encourage revitalization or redevelopment that may be identified through the Community Improvement Plan process will be shared with the team completing the Official Plan Review.

  • Community Improvement Plan Survey

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    Although we can't hear your thoughts in person, we still want to hear them virtually! Let us know what you think about the early ideas for Bala and Port Carling by completing the following surveys. The feedback collected from the community will help guide and identify community priority areas/projects for revitalization in the downtown commercial cores.

    The short surveys will take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete and will be available online until June 25, 2021.

    A summary of the findings will be available and included in the draft plans presented to Council in Summer 2021.

    If you have any questions, please contact the Communications and Economic Development Specialist.

    Draft Early Ideas for Bala and Port Carling

    View Document

    Bala Community Improvement Plan Survey

    Take Bala Survey

    Port Carling Community Improvement Plan Survey

    Take Port Carling Survey

  • Virtual Public Workshops - March 9, 2021

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    Join us on Tuesday, March 9th, 2021 to discuss and provide input into the development of a Community Improvement Plan for the communities of Port Carling and Bala. Members of the project team from the Township and their consulting team will provide a presentation, followed by a conversation. The consultant will facilitate the conversation, making sure all those on the call have a chance to share ideas.

    Participation

    Bala Community Workshop
    Date – Tuesday, March 9th, 2021
    Time –1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
    Location – Zoom.

    Register Now

    Port Carling Community Workshop
    Date – Tuesday, March 9th, 2021
    Time –3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Location – Zoom.

    Register Now

    Instructions

    • Register for the workshops by clicking the links above. This enables the consultant to track the number of people and to understand who’s joining.
    • The consultant will set up the online meeting and forward the link to registered participants the day of the meeting. This will include instructions on how to use the platform and will have a person available to troubleshoot if people have difficulty joining.
    • The public workshops are typically recorded and posted to the project web page.
    • The consultant will summarize the conversations and share with all those online before the end of the meeting.
  • One on One Interviews

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    The Township of Muskoka Lakes has initiated a Community Improvement Plan for Bala and Port Carling. The Community Improvement Plan will be prepared over the next several months, targeting completion in September 2021. The work will proceed in four phases, beginning with an understanding of opportunities and challenges for change.

    In this early phase of the process, we extend an invitation for a 20-minute one-on-one virtual meeting with a member of the project team on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 anytime between 9:00 am and 8:00 pm. We’d love to hear your thoughts on opportunities for change in the Port Carling or Bala core commercial areas – changes to streets and public spaces, opportunities for revitalization or redevelopment.

    To arrange for a 20-minute meeting, please email muskoka@planpart.ca and indicate a time slot that best suits your schedule. We will follow with a virtual meeting link.