Downtown Kitimat is a 35-hectare mixed-use area in the heart of Kitimat townsite, consisting of three precincts: City Centre, Mountainview Square, and Haisla Centre. Together, these areas form the retail and institutional core of the community, providing a diverse range of commercial and government services—and a mix of housing opportunities—that serve the daily needs of Kitimat and Kitamaat residents. City Centre and Mountainview Square are well-established areas while Haisla Centre, the former location of Kitimat General Hospital, is under development.
As stated in the Official Community Plan (OCP), downtown Kitimat has potential to provide a stronger focal point for the community. The OCP describes the area as a fragmented collection of buildings with a strong automobile orientation, spread along a series of pedestrian corridors.
Downtown revitalization has been a longstanding priority in Kitimat. Since the early 1990s, a number of downtown revitalization initiatives have been undertaken by the District of Kitimat (DOK) and downtown merchants. The project most pertinent to this RFP was the establishment of a Development Permit Area (DPA) and accompanying Downtown Design Guidelines in 1994. Additional DPA guidelines for the Downtown Revitalization Area (DRA) were introduced as part of an OCP update completed in 2008. The Downtown Design Guidelines and OCP are available on the District of Kitimat website (www.kitimat.ca).
The intent of the DRA, as expressed in the OCP, is to encourage revitalization that: is high quality in appearance; includes pedestrian qualities; makes a positive contribution to the streetscape; has a more intimate and cohesive built form; enhances user experiences for shopping and social activities; and adds universal accessibility.
The ‘Kitimat Downtown Next’ planning process will create an updated Vision for Downtown Kitimat and refine the design guidelines to ensure they result in a more vibrant, pedestrian-oriented, accessible and attractive downtown.
During this first “ideas gathering” stage, we are asking you, the residents, businesses and other stakeholders in Kitimat, to suggest “Ideas and Solutions” that may contribute to a vibrant, successful and people-friendly downtown. These ideas will be considered by the project team along with other forms of input gathered during the planning process.