The future of downtown Cranbrook

City council will host a workshop to bring together ideas for the City Hall block

Cranbrook city council wants to consult with residents about a future vision for the downtown block containing city hall, the RCMP detachment and the old fire hall.

At the Monday, September 9 regular council meeting, Coun. Bob Whetham put forward a motion that the city host a planning workshop around the future use of the city block between 10th and 11th Avenues, and Baker and 1st Streets.

The workshop’s goal will be to identify requirements and seek public input on future use of city-owned buildings and lands in the vicinity of city hall.

Coun. Whetham said the workshop idea occured to him during the debate over the old brick building behind city hall, which was last month spared from demolition for a year while a community group raises funds to restore it.

“Really it’s part of a larger issue involving change to this whole city block,” said Coun. Whetham.

The block is likely to change in the next 10 years, he explained, as city hall will need to expand soon. Also, the city wants input on what kind of tenant would be appropriate for the old fire hall, which is presently vacant.

“So what I am trying to do is to bring all of that together and essentially hold an evening where people can bring forward their ideas; the city will have to identify some of the concerns that it has.

“It’s an opportunity for people to get engaged in shaping our downtown. It might not happen right away, it might take a long time, but I think we should begin to establish some goals about where we are going,” said Coun. Whetham.

A date for the planning workshop has not yet been set.