Updated Kamplan to prepare for population surge

By Vanessa Ybarra
October 25, 2017 - 5:21pm

KAMLOOPS — The last time the city's 'Kamplan' was renewed was in 2004.

After years of public consultation and meetings, the City of Kamloops is set to unveil its new plan in the new year.

"It's a very high-level document that talks about the future of our city over the next decade and how we want Kamloops to evolve," said Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian. "We've had wide consultations everywhere from Tk'emlúps to Secwepemc to regional districts to neighbourhood groups."

With the city's population expected to reach 120-thousand by 2039, one of the key concerns to come out of the public consultations was the city being able to support its impending growth.

It's an issue on the city's radar as well.

"We want to stem urban sprawl, so we want to look at densification," added Christian. "Where we've already invested in the infrastructure, the water, the sewer, the sidewalks, let's increase the population density in those areas."

One of the main focuses of the proposed Kamplan is to expand neighbourhoods in the Aberdeen area.

"Our southwest sector so Aberdeen or Pineview, those are areas that have traditionally been our single family development areas," said Jason Locke, Community Planner Supervisor with the City of Kamloops.

Another outlined plan is building more multi-family units in the downtown and North Shore.

"There are a few areas downtown that are currently being developed as multi-family and we're starting to see more applications coming in for multi-family downtown," said Locke. "Also in Lower Sahali we have the McGill Corridor where we have some new multi-family units going into the LandMark Heights building for example."

By concentrating on building more multi-family developments downtown as well along the Tranquille Market Corridor, the city says it will be able to absorb at least 20 per cent of the projected population growth.

"Kamloops has been able to sustain a steady growth, we just want to manage that growth going forward," said Christian. "Our forefathers have been very astute in terms of the infrastructure that they've left to us. The transportation networks in Kamloops that exist right now really allow us to move around the city quite easily."

Still, Christian says there's always room for improvement.

"Looking at things like road networks, a third crossing of the Thompson River, and issues related to widening of our main arterial routes in the city, those would be housed in a separate document but they all feed off of Kamplan so you have to really set the direction first."

A final public input session is scheduled for the new year before the new plan is put into effect.

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