YARMOUTH - A new raised “seewall” following the perimeter of the old Domtex mill site, and a raised or floating boardwalk over the narrow channel at the north end of Water Street are just two of the projects described in Yarmouth’s new waterfront development action report presented at the town’s committee of the whole meeting on Jan. 25.
The 166-page document contains 24 action plans developed by the planning team in response to extensive research in the area and public and stakeholder consultations undertaken in the fall of 2017.
Independent consultant J. D. MacCulloch and Jeffrey Ward, senior planner for WSP Canada engineering and consulting services, presented the comprehensive plan, which is designed to increase activity and diversity on the waterfront. The report includes prioritization recommendations, objectives and associated tasks for each project.
Ward told council that federal funding could be available for some of the projects but that in the very short term, planning could be the first step.
“We’re proposing that you look at an action committee that’s aimed at getting the active waterfront moving to another level,” he said.
Other action elements of the report include:
At the north end of Water Street - a new street alignment to connect Water Street to Starrs Road to remove trucks from the upper end of the street, creating a quieter environment for residential uses and improving the existing retail business environment by creating a village-like atmosphere.
The Seewall raised walking trail would be an extension of the existing trail in Heritage Park and follow the perimeter of the old Domtex mill site. It would provide protection from sea level rise and storm surges, as this area is currently one of the most vulnerable and susceptible to sea level rise.
ATV trailhead - users of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) want to use the rail trail to connect with the ATV rail trail at the southern end of the town. As an alternative, the town could consider allowing ATVs as far as Tim Hortons, where a trailhead could be created, possibly in association with the restaurant. At the other end of town, another trailhead (possibly entrepreneur-driven) could be developed, providing paid accommodation and transport between the two points.
Cross-harbour trail. A multi-use trail could be extended across the north end of the harbour, using a 200-metre raised or floating boardwalk to cross the narrow channel.
The renovation of Corkum Wharf to have commercial space facing Water Street above the working area could include restaurants, fish stores, or artisanal craft shops.
More food services on Water Street and the closure of the lower end of Central Street to vehicles is recommended.
The action plan calls for a new emphasis on technology and ocean sector research. One of these actions includes the renovation of the Visitor Information Centre into an Innovation Centre to serve as a catalyst for an ocean technology centre.
The addition of a marine-oriented signature discovery centre tourist attraction to ferry terminal property is another recommendation.
The report recommends the creation of additional berths for vessels between Lobster Rock Wharf and ferry terminal and a new finger pier south of Lobster Rock Wharf.