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Town of Ladysmith eyes active transportation requirements at future developments

Potential bylaw is set to align with new OCP
Ladysmith council members discussed adding bike lanes and pedestrian paths in new developments at a committee of the whole meeting on Jan. 16. (Black Press Media file photo)

The Town of Ladysmith is looking to implement more bike lanes and pedestrian amenities in accordance with the new official community plan.

At a committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 16, council members discussed a submission from Coun. Marsh Stevens which looks at the possibility of adding pedestrian corridors and “shortcuts” in new subdivisions.

Stevens mentioned talking to residents in the south end of town who can see their friends’ home from their own, yet they still have to drive to visit them due to the lack of pedestrian infrastructure.

He hoped to obtain a report from staff to see if it was possible to get the tools required to negotiate with owners of developing parcels to set aside land for active transportation, so people can “walk from one side [of their neighbourhoods] to the other, without getting in their car.”

READ MORE: Town of Ladysmith looking at spending $13.5 million on new city hall

Director of development services Jake Belobaba said a short-term priority noted in the town’s new official community plan is a recommendation for council to amend the subdivision and development bylaw to “reflect more progressive standards for pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.” If the bylaw subdivision control is amended, bike lanes could be a requirement for certain subdivision applications.

“It’s important to move on active transportation whenever possible – because once it’s built you can’t necessarily take away from somebody’s subdivided lot – to provide the access that’s really necessary,” said Mayor Aaron Stone. “If we don’t have those adequate standards in place now, we’re missing those opportunities and they only become harder in the long run.”

The committee unanimously voted to pass a motion for staff members to create a report with more details about a potential bylaw that will be discussed at a future meeting.

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Bailey Seymour

About the Author: Bailey Seymour

After graduating from SAIT and stint with the Calgary Herald, I ended up at the Nanaimo News Bulletin/Ladysmith Chronicle in March 2023
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