By my count, dating back to 2011, Cobourg has 8 “Master Plans” detailing how staff and Council should manage key Town attributes and features plus there is also a 2019 – 2022 Strategic plan. Some seem to be consigned to a shelf and others are used to rationalize something that needs to be done. But there is no apparent integration of them – e.g. references to Master Plans in the Strategic Plan. In April 2021, Councillor Emily Chorley said: “there are staffing gaps” and “some plans just don’t get done.” A review of the Strategic plan in April 2021 actually wanted two more plans (IT Strategic Plan and Climate Action Plan). The Town’s web site helps a bit – there are 5 Master Plans online plus the Strategic Plan.
List of Master Plans
Relevant links are in Resources below – all plans are available – some on Town web site. More detail follows.
- Strategic Plan -2019 – 2022
- Transportation Master Plan (2011) – Includes a Transit section
- Parks Master Plan (2013)
- Downtown Master Plan (2016)
- Heritage Master Plan (2016)
- Urban Forestry Master Plan (2018)
- Waterfront Study (2018)
- Culture Master Plan (2019)
- Tannery District Master Plan (2021)
Transportation Master Plan (2011)
Gives guidance to planning department on such things as encouraging building near transit, improving certain roads, encouraging provisions for cyclists and more. Hopefully the Town’s planners already know about these things. It was in three parts – each one a large pdf file – available only on Town’s web site. Transit was included although it did not talk about micro-transit or on-demand transit so it’s quite outdated.
Parks Master Plan (2013)
It seems that Cobourg does not have enough Parks. The plan provides lots of detail on what to do but one hopes that Planning staff already know these things. It points to the aging demographic and development of the waterfront amongst other issues. If I remember, publishing this plan meant that waterfront development got more attention.
Downtown Master Plan (2016)
There were some expensive ideas that came out of this but in the end, the only thing that happened was the Community Improvement plan for Downtown which means the Towns subsidizes sprucing it up.
Heritage Master Plan (2016)
Most staff and councillors already understood that Cobourg residents like Heritage and want it preserved so the plan did not really say anything new. You could describe it as validating what was already being done.
Urban Forestry Master Plan (2018)
OK, so we like trees. And they should be healthy! Again the report validates what was already being done but also gave some interesting statistics – like the most common tree in Cobourg is the Norway Maple and 70% of Cobourg’s trees are native trees.
Waterfront Study (2018)
This was controversial since it recommended Marina changes such as adding more boat slips in the West harbour and buying a travel lift for boats. But it also recommended upgrading the East Pier which has now been deferred pending fixing the harbour. Overall, it would be fair to say that apart from Marina changes, Staff and Council have been following its recommendations.
Culture Master Plan (2019)
Mostly shelved as noted in Cobourg Blog Posts. Nothing new or different was suggested.
Tannery District Master Plan (2021)
This was started in 2009 when the land was taken over by the town because of unpaid taxes. The current idea is that the Town should find a developer who would build with the constraint that it would be a model sustainable community. So far no luck.
But the big question is – do staff actually know what’s in all these “plans” and implement their recommendations?
If Lucas follows previous practice, one of his first tasks will be to convene a Council meeting to set a new Strategic Plan. This could possibly make all the current master plans obsolete.
Where can I find Master Plans?
I’ve saved you the trouble of navigating the dreadful Town site – seven of the Master Plans plus the Strategic Plan are available to download from Cobourg Blog or Cobourg Internet (see “Download Master Plans – pdfs” below). Five Master Plans are discussed on pages on the Town web site. Each page has plan(s) available via links. (See “Town Web Site Links” below).
Download Master Plans – pdfs
Hosted on Cobourg Internet or Cobourg Blog
- Strategic Plan 2019 -2022 – as agreed in 2019.
- Parks Master Plan
- Downtown Master Plan
- Heritage Master Plan
- Waterfront Study (Master Plan)
- Urban Forestry Master Plan
- Cultural Master Plan
- Tannery District Master Plan “Final”
Cobourg Blog Articles
- Waterfront Study finally accepted by Council – 5 July 2018
- Final Cultural Plan Presented to Council – 7 Oct 2019
- Council Reviews Priorities – review of Strategic Plan – 4 April 2021
- Tannery District Public Meeting – 30 November 2021
- Cultural Master Plan Buried – 18 Dec 2021
- Culture on Back Burner in Cobourg – 21 October 2022
Town Web site Links
Pages that include downloads. Based on previous experience, there is no guarantee that these links will still be valid a year from now.
- Transportation Master Plan
- Parks Master Plan
- Downtown Vitalization Plan
- Heritage Master Plan
- Tannery District