Residents asked for feedback

·2 min read

STRATHROY-CARADOC - Council received their first update on the progress being made on the major Official Plan Update project: Growing Together Strathroy-Caradoc.

The two-year project will relate to growth over the next 25 years. Planning staff say that 40 applications were received from members of the public wishing to join the Stakeholder Advisory Committee. That will need to be whittled down to five.

Why spend energy on this update? The document is originally from 2006 and gets reviewed every five years, but this is the first comprehensive review taking into account recent growth and new provincial policies, says Manager of Building & Planning, Jennifer Huff.

“It’s the first time we’re doing this, so we want to get it right,” added Mayor Joanne Vanderheyden about the project.

To do that, they’ll need outside involvement and ideas from residents. Here’s a look at just a few residents’ suggestions to-date:

“I believe a bike/walking trail from Strathroy to Mt. Brydges would be a well-used asset,” writes Dave Grootjen. He suggests alongside Highway 81, well-distanced from the roadway.

Cheryl McFadden of Mt. Brydges says it’s time to plan for the aging Tri-Township Arena. She writes, “Mount Brydges Minor Hockey, Bulldogs, and Mount Brydges Skating Club have the same or higher number of participants, yet we are forced to run our programmes out of a single pad, outdated facility. We travel to Strathroy, Glencoe or Komoka to obtain enough ice for our programmes to run.”

A variety of split opinions on city busses and rideshare services like uber/lyft have been shared. User ‘M’ writes, “Intercommunity transit is a great first step; however, accessibility will still be limited to those who can get to the pickup points.” This resident suggests that rural residents are being left behind, and suggests having a municipally-run driving service. This sounds similar to the Four Counties Transit Bus, run by the Municipality of West Elgin; the by-demand bus service has considered expanding their catchment area to Strathroy-Caradoc in the past. The key message is that the general public can participate online at www.growingtogethersc.ca.

Residents can leave comments and feedback on eight different subjects: a Rec Trails Master Plan, an Employment Lands Study, a Parks & Recreation Master Plan, a Fire Station Location Study, a Regional Commercial Systems Study, a Transportation Master Plan, an Attainable Housing Study, and a Servicing Capacity and Constraint Study. Initial findings are scheduled to appear before council in the Fall of 2021.

McKinley Leonard-Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner