New town plan on Paradise’s agenda

Andrew Robinson
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Planning director hopes creative consultant will address community’s growing demands

When the Town of Paradise completed its last town plan in 2004, it had a population half the size it is today.  

In an age where people are connected to town matters more than ever through the increased use of technology and social media, the town’s director of planning hopes the consultant developing a new town plan this year will find creative ways to engage the public.

Alton Glenn is the director of planning and protective services for the Town of Paradise. The community recently put out a request for proposals in relation to a town plan for the next 10 years.
— Photo by Andrew Robinson/The Telegram

 “A lot of this will be some of the things you’ve got to do via the Urban and Rural Planning Act, but one of the big things we’re looking for is creativity,” said director of planning and protective services Alton Glenn, who has been with the town for 11 years.

“We’re hoping to find someone who will be experienced with social media so that the whole public can access the process and go beyond what you would normally expect — public meetings held in a room in the evening and things going out in the newspaper. I think a lot of the younger people in town would have an expectation, if they’re being asked their opinion, that there should probably be more ways to give that.”

A new 10-year plan will serve as the governing document to drive all future development and land-use planning for the community of almost 20,000.

“There’s a number of things that we attempt to accommodate and continue to deal with in regards to that growth,” said Glenn.

“Services for existing residents, services for new residents, attempting to deal with outside agencies with regards to schools, looking at our demographics and expected demographics and how that’s going to affect things like the need for schools and also other things, like affordable housing, seniors housing, this type of thing.”

The community’s makeup has changed dramatically since the last municipal plan was created. There were almost 3,300 homes in Paradise according to 2001 Census data. That figure increased to 6,500 in the most recent Census from 2011. The municipal budget has tripled from $9.7 million in 2004 to $29.6 million this year.

“We certainly had ideas from what we saw (in 2004) that it was really going to pick up, but I think the pace of it was probably somewhat of a surprise to everyone — that there was that much of an uptake for new residential housing in such a short time,” said Glenn.

How much further growth the community can handle will likely depend on decisions surrounding the types of homes that are built, according to Glenn.

“If we move to higher densities, then that’s much more sustainable. If you’re dealing with attempting to build the streets that you need for all single-family dwellings to the same degree that we did in the past, then the number of people is not what the problem is. It’s how you house those people — how you build the town.”

The deadline for proposals to work on the municipal plan and development regulations is April 25.

Twitter: @TeleAndrew

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Recent comments

  • Conjested
    March 24, 2014 - 09:50

    I agree with regional transit system. However, I am not convinced it alone would alleviate the traffic in the Paradise area. I think an overpass and off and on ramps a few kilometers further east of Paradise that would bisect the Outer Ring Road and connect Kenmount road and St. Thomas Line. Then exits connecting to the east end of Evergreen Village, Paradise Road

    • Jon
      March 24, 2014 - 10:31

      Great Idea.

  • Transit
    March 24, 2014 - 08:42

    Brain is right. What the St. John's region really needs is a regional transit system. You always hear people complain about the increased traffic. The quickest and easiest way to reduce traffic in the region is to have bus service that is frequent, reliable, and comfortable. You can move 50 people in 50 different cars if you want to, or you can move the same 50 people on one city bus. Which choice takes up more space on the road?

    • Jon
      March 24, 2014 - 09:02

      Now that they have a new mayor, hopefully they will realize this. Ralph was quoted as saying they didn't need transit because they are only 15 minutes from the airport and middle of town by highway.....I think he missed the point bigtime.

  • flexxa
    March 24, 2014 - 07:18

    ...start with some sidewalks!

  • Brian
    March 24, 2014 - 07:10

    How about including public transit for morning/evening commuters travelling to and from St. John's for work!!!!!!?????