East Waterfront Community Improvement Plan

In 2006, the City of Port Colborne retained Urban Strategies Inc. in association with RCI Consulting to prepare a Community Improvement Plan (CIP) for the East Waterfront. 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 East Waterfront;
  • Articulate a Vision for the East Waterfront;
  • Specify a Public Realm Improvement Plan that contains recommended improvements to various elements and features of the East Waterfront 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 East Waterfront.

The East Waterfront Community Improvement Plan 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 the East Waterfront in 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's East Waterfront will benefit not only business and property owners in the East Waterfront area, but also residents, business and property owners in Port Colborne and the wider regional community as a whole.

 
 

Background Materials

 

Final Community Improvement Plan Document

The following is a link to the East Waterfront Community Improvement Plan and Draft Secondary Plan approved by Council March, 12, 2012

Port Colborne East Waterfront Community Improvement Plan and Draft Secondary Plan

 
 

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 East Waterfront Community Improvement Plan represent a comprehensive framework containing a range of programs that are designed to stimulate local development and redevelopment by addressing indentified 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 East Waterfront project area.

The following program guides outline the various incentive programs that are available to encourage redevelopment of sites within the East Waterfront Community Improvement Plan project area.  They provide program descriptions, required information and FAQs about the individual programs.

Please click on the links below to view the guides.

Urban Design Study Grant Program Guide

Commercial/Mixed Use Building and Facade Improvement Grant Program Guide

Residential Intensification and Rehabilitation Grant Program Guide

Revitalization (Tax Increment) Grant Program Guide

 
 

Applications

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 East Waterfront Community Improvement Plan for the City of Port Colborne.  Each application includes the respective program guide for the program to which the application refers.

General Program Requirements

*Please review the General Program Requirements in conjunction with ALL applications.  The document contains standard requirements which are applicable to all East Waterfront CIP incentive programs *

Application for Commercial/Mixed Use Building and Facade Improvement Grant

The purpose of the Facade Improvement Grant Program is 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 (which includes commercial/residential, commercial/institutional and other mixed uses which contain a commercial use) buildings, including retail storefront display areas and signage. And, to promote the maintenance and physical improvement of existing commercial, institutional and mixed use buildings and properties, in order to improve the attractiveness of the Project Area and provide safe and usable commercial, institutional and mixed use spaces.

Application for Urban Design Study Grant

The purpose of the Urban Design Study Grant is 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.

Application for Residential Intensification and Rehabilitation Grant

The purpose of the Residential Grant Program is 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 (which include commercial/residential, commercial/institutional and other mixed uses containing a commercial use); 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.

Further, this program is in place to promote the rehabilitation (maintenance and improvement) of existing single detached and multi-until residential properties.  This program is not intended for the conversion of ground floor commercial space to residential use.

Application for Revitalization (Tax Increment) Grant

The purpose of the Revitalization (Tax Increment) Grant is 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.

Planning and Building Fee Grant

The Planning and Building Fee Grant is intended to provide a financial incetive in the form of an upfront waiving of fees for planning and development applications and building permits in order to facilitate re-use, infill, intensification and redevelopment through the provision of an incentive that will complement and augment the other incentive programs availble in the East Waterfront CIP project area.  This is an upfront grant that is addressed at the time of application.

 
 

More Information

For More Information regarding the City of Port Colborne East Waterfront Community Improvement Plan, please contact:

Lindsay Richardson
Community/Policy Planner
Ph. 905-835-2901 ext 129
Fax. 905-835-2939
Email: Lindsay Richardson