Chatham-Kent’s economy continues to be shaped by global economic, environmental and social trends, including: shifts from traditional manufacturing to knowledge and service-based creative economies; climate change and natural resource challenges; and increased cultural diversity at home and with trading partners.
Community improvement planning, one of the many sustainable community planning tools found in the Planning Act, can help municipalities address some of these challenges as it provides a means of planning and financing development activities that effectively use, reuse and restore lands, buildings and infrastructure.
Chatham-Kent has developed two Community Improvement Programs to help tackle some economic challenges we face. These are:
Brownfield properties are abandoned, vacant, derelict or under-used industrial and commercial facilities and lands where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. Bluefield properties are similarly constrained institutional or community facilities. This may include former schools, hospitals, or similar uses.
Despite the complexity of developing these properties, they are often in desirable and strategic locations. They have the advantage of having infrastructure in place and a variety of potential uses which can contribute to urban intensification, community revitalization, economic development and jobs, or new housing.
In 2005, Council approved the Brownfield and Bluefield Community Improvement Plan and Strategy (BBCIP). The BBCIP addresses certain impediments to redeveloping brownfield and bluefield sites.
The Downtown and Main Street Areas Community Improvement Plan identified 13 core neighbourhoods in the Communities of Blenheim, Bothwell, Chatham, Dresden, Erieau, Highgate, Merlin, Morpeth, Ridgetown, Thamesville, Tilbury, Wallaceburg, and Wheatley in need of an improvement strategy.
Urban Design Guidelines have been established to provide guidance to property owners and the Municipality on the desired design concepts and strategies for each of the 13 neighbourhoods.
The Commercial Community Improvement Plan (CCIP) identified eleven commercial neighbourhoods in the Communities of Blenheim, Chatham, Dresden, Ridgetown, Tilbury and Wallaceburg in need of an improvement strategy.
Urban Design Guidelines have been established to provide guidance to property owners and the Municipality on the desired design concepts and strategies for each of the eleven neighbourhoods.