Cobourg’s Strategic Plan has had an unusual amount of input from the public and has had significant changes after it was supposedly complete. At the Committee of the Whole Council meeting on April 23, a number of changes were made, notably to kill the idea that there might be boat slips added into the West Harbour. This idea is of course part of the Waterfront master plan which has a number of other ideas for the Waterfront. At Monday’s regular Council meeting (April 29), when the strategic plan (with amendments) came up for final approval, Councillor Brian Darling moved an amendment wanting to loosen the restriction on use of the West Harbour. There was a good discussion before there was a vote on the proposed amendment.
The Strategic Plan – as amended – Action 7 under Places reads (see Amendment #11 below):
No expansion of boat-slips at the Cobourg Marina will be considered during this term of Council and the environment of the West Harbour will be safeguarded and protected.
Brian’s amendment would add the words
“…as much as possible while also allowing for a shared use of the West Harbour for recreational purposes.”
Brian’s statement (summarized):
“The open-ended statement does not allow us to look at the Waterfront Master Plan and all its recommendations – e.g. an accessible dock. … I’m all for protecting the environment but we need to find a balance…. We need to be fair to everyone. If the public feels that we should have an area for public use, we should allow the public to decide on that”.
Statement by Councillor Emily Chorley (summarized):
“The way it was originally worded does not preclude an accessibility dock from going into that area… “The phrase as much as possible included in the amendment would undermine the current wording … it becomes a matter of interpretation… I would call it a weasel phrase.”
Statement by Adam Bureau (summarized):
“…we are preserving the west Harbour for Recreational use … I agree with Councillor Chorley”.
The vote was taken with Councillors Nicole Beatty and Aaron Burchat supporting Brian’s amendment but the amendment was defeated.
The Strategic plan was then finally approved with amendments but without Brian Darling’s additional amendment. The final Strategic Plan is not yet online but the draft is available on the Town’s Web site here. Also, here are the amendments approved at the C.O.W.
- Councillor Darling – Pillar – Places pg 3. Remove Strategic Action #3 ‘Review the expansion of boat slips into the west harbour recommendation contained in the waterfront master plan.’
- Councillor Beatty – Pillar/Objective – Prosperity pg 2. be amended to read ‘The Town plans for, markets and develop assets for economic resiliency and financial security.’
- Councillor Beatty – Pillar – People pg.3 Strategic Action #3 be amended to read ‘Encourage healthy lifestyles across all age groups by promoting and raising awareness about public health and active transportation.’
- Councillor Beatty – Pillar – Places pg.3 Desired Outcome be amended to add the following ‘A community that prioritizes biking, walking and public transportation as a means to mitigate the effects of climate change.’
- Councillor Beatty – Pillar – Programs pg. 4 Strategic Action #4 be amended to read ‘Explore the feasibility of enhanced sidewalk snow clearing, including the clearing of arterial bike lanes and multi-use paths.’
- Councillor Beatty – Pillar – Programs pg. 4 Desired Outcome be amended to add the following ‘Public Trust and Confidence in the Town’s processes and procedures will be enhanced.’
- Councillor Beatty – Pillar – Partnerships pg. 4 Strategic Action #4 be amended to add the following ‘Work with transit authorities in the area to integrate transit services, including accessible and active transit services.’
- Councillor Beatty – Pillar – Partnerships pg 4 Strategic Action Add #5 ‘Facilitate meaningful collaboration with Cobourg Citizens’.
- Councillor Chorley – Pillar – People pg 3 Strategic Action Add #5 ‘Invest in programs, services, and infrastructure to make Cobourg more Accessible’ and the Desired Outcome be amended to add the following ‘A barrier-free Cobourg that is accessible to citizens of all abilities, including those with disabilities.’
- Councillor Chorley – Pillar – Places pg 3 Strategic Action add #6 ‘Repair and rejuvenate the East Pier’
- Councillor Chorley – Pillar – Places pg 3. Strategic Action add #7 ‘That no expansion of boat slips at the Cobourg Marina, west of the Centre Pier, be considered during this term of Council and that the natural environment of the West Harbour be safeguarded and protected.’
These were briefly mentioned in the Post on 23 April – see link below where I said “too numerous to list. In reality, my note taking could not keep up!”
Council Responds to input on Strategic Plan – 23 April 2019