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Downtown Chilliwack vision could be realized sooner

The old Paramount Theatre may be facing the wrecking ball in downtown Chilliwack. Council was forced to disqualify the only two respondents to submit proposals for redevelopment. - JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS FILE
The old Paramount Theatre may be facing the wrecking ball in downtown Chilliwack. Council was forced to disqualify the only two respondents to submit proposals for redevelopment.
— image credit: JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS FILE

No one is willing to wait the 30 years consultants say it will take to see any significant redevelopment in downtown Chilliwack.

That's the rationale behind a long-awaited report coming to council Tuesday from the Downtown Task Force — with the goal of speeding up renewal and revitalization of the historic downtown core.

A series of 20 action-oriented recommendations will address everything from land development and assembly, to social issues, incentives, unsightly premises, and monitoring.

“The Downtown Task Force recognizes that some of our recommendations are bold and will require further exploration and discussion,” said Coun. Ken Huttema, chair of the task force.

“However, we strongly believe we have presented an action guide that could help us realize the vision for this neighbourhood sooner than the 30 years suggested in the Downtown Land Use and Development Plan.”

The report will be received at the Feb. 21 meeting, and the task force is expected to be disbanded to make way for the newly formed "implementation" committee.

Implementation is expected to be "incremental," say officials, as market and economic forces are still at play.

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