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Preparing for Our Growing Region

by Shanine Sealey
People in meeting

The municipalities of Corman Park, Saskatoon, Martensville, Warman and Osler have each worked together to create a draft Regional Plan (P4G). The Regional Plan is a ‘district plan’ which is required under the provincial Planning and Development Act. Such a plan is made in order to guide future growth, development and governance within our region by planning for land use, infrastructure, development, fi nances, population, transportation, utilities and services. The plan also includes strategies for regional governance and servicing coordination. All of such should be planned responsibly as each affects the quality of living within our region of which we so highly value. The Regional Plan includes the Regional Vision (describes the Principles and Directions and intent of the Plan), General Policies (policies for the region i.e., water resources or natural hazards), Land Use (policies related to the Regional Land Use Map and regional development including recreation and waste management), Servicing (construction and management of infrastructure and the delivery of regional services through P4G), and Governance and Implementation (describes the processes for administering and carrying out the Plan).

Regional land use mapOn June 27th, located at the North Ridge Community Centre, representatives and members of the involved municipalities came together to present and answer questions regarding the P4G Regional Plan draft. Kent Muench, Mayor of Martensville, stated that he acknowledges this as a very important milestone in our region. “It shows great cooperation and collaborative work to get to this point, it has been a long process and we are excited to show the work that administration and the various councils have done,” said Muench, reflecting back to when the planning began back in 2014. Municipalities included in the Plan are the cities of Saskatoon, Martensville, Warman, the Town of Osler and the RM of Corman Park. Doug Olsen, president of the organization, was in attending to provide an explanation about the P4G Regional Plan. “This region has a history of joint planning since the 50’s, and has periodically been growing and changing rapidly. This is the third fastest growing metro region in Canada, and Warman is the fastest growing municipality in Canada. With a few economic hits this region is still estimated to grow two percent a year- a steady growth,” informed Olsen. “Long term strategies are needed to resume our high quality of life and to competitively serve infrastructure. This plan accounts for real regional issues we fi rstly have to deal with, it is not meant to address urban design of individual communities, it’s meant to address regional issues, and started off as a regional vision of a prosperous region where all members benefit.”

Residents in attendance had the opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns regarding what they feel to be immediate or future areas in need of a plan or guide. Documents show that that the Saskatoon region could grow to a population of 1,000,000 in the next sixty years. The plan for growth prepares for sustaining economic prosperity, supporting a high quality of life, and protecting the region’s natural beauty, ecology, and heritage. It plans for the growing population in terms of distributing services responsibly for the use of land. “We are growing together so it makes sense to plan for our future. In terms of transportation we needed to take that fi rst step, economically and practically. Our region is partners, not neighbours. This is just the first step and it’s a good one,” said Warman Mayor Sheryl Spence. Actions made on behalf of this strategic Regional Plan will support economic vitality, complete communities, and ensure the needs of the present are met while preserving the welfare of future generations. The plan is flexible and open to changes as it will accommodate the changing environment and unexpected events with creativity and innovation alike.

To view the P4G Regional Draft Plan or for more information, visit the City of Martensville website.

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Numerous local residents attended the June 27th P4G meeting that was held at North Ridge Community Centre in Martensville. (Marcy Cross/MM)

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