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Market Square Options Report
Downtown Central Business District Community Improvement Plan
In 2009, the City of Port Colborne retained RCI Consulting in association with GSP Group Inc. to prepare a Community Improvement Plan (CIP) for the Downtown Central Business District (CBD). The purpose of the CIP is to:
- Identify the physical, economic and other strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in relation to the reviltalization of the Downtown CBD;
- Articulate a Vision for the Downtown CBD;
- Specify a Public Realm Improvement Plan that contains recommended improvements to various elements and features of the Downtown CBD in order to improve the pedestrian environment and promote private sector investment activity; and
- Develop a toolbox of incentive programs that can be offered by the City to directly stimulate private sector investment in the revitalization and redevelopment of the Downtown CBD.
The Downtown Central Business District Community Improvement Plan and Urban Design Strategy has been developed specifically to address the key weaknesses and threats and take advantage of the strengths and opportunities identified throughout the duration of the study. The adoption and approval of this CIP will provide the legislative basis and comprehensive policy framework to guide the public realm improvements and incentive programs needed to achieve the vision for Downtown Port Colborne. Successful implementation of this CIP will require commitment from Council and Staff in order to implement the public realm improvements and to administer and monitor the incentive programs.
The investment made by the City in this CIP will be augmented and supported by the Region's Smarter Niagara programs which are designed to support local community improvement plan initiatives. In summary, the revitalization of the City of Port Colborne Downtown Central Business District will benefit not only business and property owners in the Downtown CBD area, but also residents, business and property owners in Port Colborne and the wider regional community as a whole.
The following links provide background information regarding the Downtown Central Business District Community Improvement Plan, Ubran Design Guidelines and West Street Traffic Study.
Final Community Improvement Plan Documents
The following links are full pdf versions of the Final Community Improvement Plan, Urban Design Strategy and West Street Traffic Study that were adopted by Council on September 13, 2010.
Financial Incentive Programs
Financial Incentive Programs
An important component of any Community Improvement Plan are financial incentive programs that are offered to eligible property owners as a means of promoting private investment and change. The incentive programs contained in the City of Port Colborne Downtown Central Business District Community Improvement Plan represent a comprehensive framework containing a range of programs that are designed to stimulate local development and redevelopment by addressing identified critical needs. The financial incentive programs are primarily directed at the private sector and are designed to encourage private sector remediation and rehabilitation, adaptive reuse and construction activity within the Downtown Central Business District.
The following program guides outline the various incentive programs to encourage redevelopment of properties within the Downtown Central Business District CIP project area. They provide program descriptions, required information and FAQs about the programs.
Please click on the links below to view the guides.
The following application forms are to be used by persons wishing to apply for Community Improvement Plan funding for one or more of the incentive programs offered under the Downtown Central Business District Community Improvement Plan for the City of Port Colborne. Each application includes the respective program guide for the program to which the application refers.
*Please review the General Program Requirements in conjunction with ALL applications. The document contains standard requirements which are applicable to all Downtown CBD CIP Incentive programs*
The Facade Improvement Grant is intended to provide a financial incentive in the form of a grant to promote the rehabilitation, restoration and improvement of the front, rear and side facades of commercial institutional and mixed use buildings, including retail storefront display and signage.
The Urban Design Study Grant is intended to provide a financial incentive in the form of a grant to offset the cost of preparing professional urban design studies and architectural/design drawings required by the City.
Planning and Building Fees Grant
The Planning and Building Fee Grant is intended to provide a financial incentive in the form of a grant equivalent to the fees paid on planning and development applications and building permits in order to help facilitate re-use, infill, intensification and redevelopment through the provision of an incentive that will complement and augment the other incentive programs available in the Downtown CBD CIP project area. This is an upfront grant that is taken at the time of application.
The Revitalization (Tax Increment) Grant is intended to provide a financial incentive in the form of a grant to promote rehabilitation, redevelopment, infill and intensification projects. Only those projects that result in an increase in property assessment and property taxes will be eligible for funding under this program.
The Residential Grant is intended to provide a financial incentive in the form of a grant to promote the renovation of existing residential units and construction of new residential units through: renovations to existing residential units in mixed use buildings; conversion of excess commercial and vacant space on upper stories of commercial and mixed use buildings to residential units; residential intensification; and, infilling of vacant lots with new residential units.
For more information regarding the City of Port Colborne Downtown Central Business District Community Improvement Plan, Urban Design Strategy and West Street Traffic Study, please contact:
Ph. 905-835-2901 ext 129
Fax: (905) 835-2939
Email Lindsay Richardson