Legislating for Place-Making

The Town of Innisfil is working its way through the process of implementing a place-making strategy. We now have a Draft Policy Directions Report to outline possible routes to that goal. While the illustrated report provides much more background, maps and imagery, here is a brief look at some of the options presented:

  1. Town-wide PlaceMaking Policies
  • Incorporate the Public’s Key PlaceMaking Goals into OP Goals
  • Enshrine PlaceMaking in the Official Plan
  1. Plan through the Lens of the Four PlaceMaking Principles
    (activities & uses; access & linkages; comfort & image; sociability)
    Destination-specific policies would apply to key destinations within Innisfil:
  • A Schedule of Key Place Destinations
  • Policies Specific to Each Place
  • Implementation Strategies Specific to Each Place

Some of the policy recommendations are of interest to me as they pertain to sustainable urban design: 

Compact Development

“The residential policies and designations for new residential areas may need to be revised to ensure compact built form is achieved. For instance, the minimum density in the Residential Low Density One designation is only 12.5 units per hectare. This density should be increased for new residential neighbourhoods.”

Sustainable Building Design

  • Require buildings to be designed more efficiently
  • Encourage, the use of third party energy conservation review and targets, such as LEED, in the design of buildings
  • Capitalize on natural light/passive solar gains
    “Buildings can be oriented and designed to capitalize on natural light … this objective can be a challenge when dealing with compact development …”
  • Require on-site storm water management
    “A policy could be included to require
proponents of all development applications to
assess ways to provide for on-site stormwater
management as part of a complete application”
  • Promoting renewable energy systems
    “A policy could be added to encourage buildings to be run on the use of renewable energy sources (solar, wind) to help conserve energy …”

Food Access

  • Introduce “farmers’ market” as a permitted use within public places and venues
  • Identify a specific site in Alcona for a municipally operated farmer’s market
    “A market in the Alcona Core
 Commercial Area could be a sub-set
 of the larger farmers’ market
… This
 market would allow for smaller
 groups of farmers to set up shop, without requiring planning permissions to do so and would also assist in promoting the Alcona Core as a Place”
  • Planning for and encouraging a grocery store in Sandy Cove and Lefroy-Belle Ewart
  • Encourage and Promote Community Gardens
    “Community gardens, in both private
 and public areas, can contribute to
 increased production of local food”
  • Permit urban livestock

Active Transportation

  • Identify the Importance of Active Transportation in the Vision Statement of the Official Plan
    The vision statement could set out goals for Innisfil to become a well- connected community, connecting Innisfil’s settlement areas via multi-use trails, and to encourage bike lands within all commercial cores …”
  • Incorporate the TMP Trail and Sidewalk Improvements
    “ … schedules could be incorporated into the Official Plan to enforce the importance of active transportation and guide capital works priorities”
  • Include an Active Transportation Strategy in the Official Plan
    “Just including maps in the Official Plan or identifying particular trail linkages in text may not necessarily lead to their implementation. An active transportation strategy that prioritizes a network of trails, sidewalk improvements and cycle-ways … may ensure that the network is realized in a timely fashion”
  • Include a “complete streets” policy

    “Complete streets” are intended to serve the needs of everyone,- pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and automobile drivers. They are streets that are designed to prioritize the importance of all modes of travel …”

  • Require Applications to address Active Transportation
  • Require Bicycle Parking spaces in New Developments
  • Monitor Active Transportation Improvements

Additional sections of the report deal with the theme of Countryside – agriculture related uses; on-farm diversified uses; defining other rural land uses; country-side character and environment. I’ll share more about that next.

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