Park Avenue Park Concept Plan

Project Introduction

Park Avenue Park (also know as “Five Acre Farm”) is located in the Harewood Neighbourhood at 933 Park Avenue and is one of the last remaining 5-acre (approx. 2 ha) parcels in the Harewood Neighbourhood.  This property is zoned R1 – Single Dwelling Residential, designated Suburban Neighbourhood in the recently adopted City Plan – Nanaimo ReImagined (City Plan), and meets the desire for a potential park in this general area as identified in the 2013 Harewood Neighbourhood Plan.

Approximately a third of the property is a natural wetland that serves as part of the City’s rainwater drainage network and there is also a small scale urban farm on a portion of the property with an agreement in place for Nanaimo Foodshare to grow food for the benefit of Nanaimo's citizens. 

In 2019, the City purchased this property  to meet several complimentary community benefits with potential future uses including community nature park, a protected and productive wetland, a site for community food production and future affordable housing opportunities.  These potential uses align with all five City Plan goals of a Green, Connected, Healthy, Empowered and Prosperous Nanaimo as well as Council’s strategic commitment’s to Environmental Responsibility and Livability.  

Gallery

  • Progress
  • Documents
  • Details

    The overall aim for the project is to create a graphically rich Concept Planto identify which areas of the land are best suited to meet the following objectives for the land:

    • Public parkland for all to enjoy
    • Agriculture and Food Security (education and practical practice)
    • Protection of environmentally sensitive areas
    • Affordable housing development

     

    This project will research and take into consideration:

    • The current use and the natural layout and landscape of this property;
    • The direction, goals, and policies of City Plan and the Harewood Neighbourhood Plan;
    • The potential for food sustainability opportunities and farming;
    • Affordable housing opportunities (townhouses for families);
    • Future mobility connectivity to Harewood neighbourhoods, shops, and the broader community;
    • Public recreational opportunities to enjoy nature, as well as observe, learn, move amongst and be a part of this unique ecological setting;
    • Inclusive and accessible design;
    • The environmental and historical significance of this park within the Harewood location and the needs and desires for the community;
    • Input from the neighbourhood stakeholders, individuals, and city staff using a design charrette meeting, as well as a second follow up meeting; and
    • Previous community input with respect to this property (including The Five Acres Farm Project: Land Use & Environmental Planning Report – produces by MABRRI 2019)
  • Background

    Links to supporting policies in City Plan – Nanaimo ReImagined 2022 

    C1 A GREEN NANAIMO: RESILIENT & REGENERATIVE ECOSYSTEMS

    • C1.3.14  When planning for natural assets and park spaces, find creative solutions that protect ecological assets and functions and allow defined public access and amenities, while balancing watercourse, tree protection and environmentally sensitive area regulations.  

     

    C2 A CONNECTED NANAIMO: EQUITABLE ACCESS & MOBILITY

    • C2.3.5  Add recreational trails and active transportation routes in greenways where appropriate.

     

    C3 A HEALTHY NANAIMO: COMMUNITY WELLBEING & LIVIBILITY

    • C3.2.2  Assess sites for affordable and supportive housing projects to identify those that will best meet the needs of the target population. 
    • C3.4.1  Support and continue to advocate for food sovereignty and nutrition security for all residents 
    • C3.4.4  Support efforts to educate and promote awareness of the relationship between food production, health and community impacts 
    • C3.4.5  Continue to collaborate and partner with community organizations to support food system activities on City owned land 
    • C3.4.13  Continue to support local food infrastructure on City owned lands, including farmers markets, urban farms, greenhouses, food forests and community gardens. 
    • C3.6.1  Continue to provide recreation facilities and infrastructure to meet the demands of the community as it grows and that support overall recreation and wellness needs.
    • C3.6.8  Provide opportunities, amenities, and educational programs that encourage people to be active and participate in wellness, recreation, cultural and environmental stewardship activities in parks, open spaces and natural environments. 

     

    C4 AN EMPOWERED NANAIMO: RECONCILIATION, REPRESENTATION & INCLUSION

    • C4.2.10  Encourage programs that create employment opportunities and link diverse and underrepresented groups to those opportunities. 
    • C4.3.14  Strive to make all City parks, recreation, and culture programs as inclusive and accessible as possible for all ages and abilities. 
    • C4.5.8  Consider opportunities to integrate cultural elements into community improvement and renewal projects.
    • C4.6.13  Move heritage beyond places such as museums and galleries and into settings where people can interact with it, for example, in parks, at festivals, or in commercial areas. 
    • C4.7.8  Incorporate public art into trails and unexpected places. 
    • C4.8.6  When planning and designing facilities and public spaces, integrate flexible space that can serve as venues for community events and gatherings through all seasons.
    • C4.9.8  When developing public use and recreational amenities in parks, consider the following: protection of environmentally sensitive areas, appropriate level of public access based on the sensitivity of the lands, protection and/or restoration of wildlife and habitat corridors wherever possible, protection of existing archaeological, heritage, and cultural features, integration of recreational, active mobility, and other public uses that are compatible with existing park features and environment, limiting development of amenities to previously disturbed areas wherever possible, maintenance of public views, maintenance of urban tree canopy values, creation of complementary relationships among uses and retaining adequate buffers between non-complementary uses
    • C4.9.9  Design parks and open spaces with the overall goal of creating safe, inclusive, and accessible places for all ages and abilities. 
    • C4.9.10  Consider all season use of park spaces, incorporating amenities that support outdoor gatherings and recreation in all weather.
    • C4.9.11  Provide opportunities for the community to visually and physically connect with nature in park spaces.

     

    CITY STRUCTURE:
    • D4.5.9  Encourage cluster housing designs and siting that protect environmentally sensitive features, hazard lands, and existing trees and that provide for open spaces. Additional density may be considered in exchange for the preservation of open space.
    • D4.8.1   Plan Green Spaces to support the protection of environmentally sensitive areas and areas of high agricultural and forestry values.
    • D4.8.13  Support agricultural and resource uses, including farm use or agriculture; forestry, wood lots, and silviculture; as well as park and open space uses, including natural parks, passive recreation uses, protected areas, and environmentally sensitive areas in the Resource Management designation.

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