The Belleville Master Plan and Development Plan

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					                                                                                                                  Brook McIlroy Planning + Urban Design

2             The Belleville Master Plan and Development Plan

2. 1      T h e B el l evi l l e Ma ster P lan and De ve lopme nt Plan

The Belleville Waterfront has a long and rich history   The Belleville Master Plan provides a vision for a       The Consultant Team’s tasks as directed by the City
that did not always involve today’s peaceful and        waterfront open to everyone in all seasons, creating     of Belleville were as follows:
green waterfront. With the departure of industrial      a balance of animated and quiet spaces. It builds
uses and the capping of landfills, the Waterfront       on a truly extraordinary site that has evolved from
has enjoyed a gradual renaissance helped by the         a variety of recreational and industrial uses.            •     Provide opportunities for people of varying
implementation of a variety of people-friendly uses                                                                     lifestyles, interests and age;
                                                        The concepts proposed in this document have               •     Identify opportunities to locate or expand
including sports fields, playgrounds and boating        been developed through an extensive public
facilities, but without the benefit of a Master Plan.                                                                   existing or new harbour locations;
                                                        consultation process and with the acknowledgment          •     Place importance upon the restoration,
The federal government, as one of the Waterfront’s      that the Plan should build on existing amenities and            interpretation and protection of the
principal landowners, is pursuing its general policy    preserve the primary character of the Waterfront as             natural environment;
of devolving non-essential land assets to local         a recreational green space.                               •     Develop a continuous ‘green’ pedestrian
governments and has asked the City of Belleville        This Master Plan document should be read in                     realm in the Waterfront area;
to submit plans that detail strategies to improve       conjunction with the Development Plan.                    •     Employ exceptional design sensitivity;
the environmental quality of these lands in order                                                                 •     Support year-round activities that are
to access funding earmarked for this purpose. The                                                                       site-appropriate and promote health
City has decided to tie these technical projects to a                                                                   and wellness in a clean and safe
Master Plan to plan for the orderly programmatic                                                                        environment;
and environmental improvement of its Waterfront.                                                                  •     Encourage          green     linkages     to
The Master Plan will help direct public funds to                                                                        neighbourhoods and business districts in
initiatives supported by the Master Plan.                                                                               the area;
                                                                                                                  •     Mitigate potential environmental impacts
                                                                                                                        that may arise through the realization of
                                                                                                                        opportunities, within the constraints posed
                                                                                                                        by existing environmental conditions.

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     2.2       Princi pl es Gui di ng Waterfr on t De v e l opme n t

     Through consultation with Belleville citizens, a set of principles has been developed to guide the research
     and preparation of the Master Plan. These principles are also intended to guide the long-term development
     of the Waterfront as circumstances and community priorities evolve.

     1.      Accessible and Connected                                                                              4.      Dramatic
     Thanks to new and improved streets and paths and                                                              Belleville’s Waterfront should be ‘put on the map’.
     docking facilities, the Waterfront should be easily                                                           Views to and from the Waterfront should be
     accessible on foot, bike, by car and boat from all                                                            protected in perpetuity. New landmarks should be
     directions. Easily accessible and visually attractive                                                         created to punctuate key sites and reinforce the
     marked parking areas should be balanced with                                                                  Waterfront’s unique character.
     the need to preserve green space and a peaceful
     environment on the Waterfront. Special attention
     should be paid to creating seamless linkages with                                                             5.      Historic
     the Downtown.                                                                                                 The Waterfront should be connected to its
                                                                                                                   rich past and feature reminders in the form of
                                                                                                                   plaques, monuments and other interpretive word
     2.      Welcoming, Inclusive and Diverse                                                                      installations.
     The Waterfront should be welcoming to visitors
     of all ages and interests, including seniors and
     the disabled. The Waterfront should be home to                                                                6.      Artful
     a variety of uses, including homes, businesses,                                                               Art should be prominent on the Waterfront, not
     shops, marina services, as well as a range of active                                                          only through outdoor art installations, but also
     and passive recreation activities. Unique attractions                                                         through the design of trails, buildings, bridges,
     should be created to attract residents who would                                                              lighting and landmarks. Provision should be
     not normally visit the Waterfront and tourists who                                                            made for revolving exhibits to sustain interest. A
14   may come over land or water.                                                                                  professionally administered art selection process
                                                                                                                   should be initiated and adjudicated by an Arts
     3.      All-Seasons
     The Waterfront should offer a wide range of
     activities that can be enjoyed throughout the year.                                                           7.      Educational
     New facilities should be designed to have different                                                           The Waterfront should provide a rich learning
     applications in the warm and cold months.                                                                     environment through plaques, installations, special
                                                                                                                   gardens and exhibits. New and existing buildings
                                                                                                                   should be designed to accommodate workshops
                                                                                                                   and camps, especially aimed at children.
                                                                                   Brook McIlroy Planning + Urban Design

8.      Practical and Convenient                                                  11.      Green and Sustainable
The Waterfront should be designed to accommodate                                  A variety of plant species should be planted on
the needs of the boating community as well as                                     the Waterfront, each suited to its surroundings
festival and event organizers. Washrooms, change                                  and contributing to an overall landscape vision for
rooms and concessions should be provided in                                       the sites. Vegetation should be used to screen and
strategic locations to serve the general public on                                beautifying parking lots, utilities, roadways and rail
a year-round basis. Paths should be designed                                      tracks. Plants should also be used for educational
to accommodate a variety of activities including                                  purposes with an emphasis on native species.
walking, cycling and rollerblading while minimizing                               The Waterfront should be sustainable with an
conflicts with vehicular traffic.                                                 emphasis – among others – on the reduction or
                                                                                  elimination of contaminants entering the Bay,
9.      Quiet and Contemplative                                                   energy efficiency, and use of local and natural
Easily accessible areas shielded from noise, traffic
and activity should be maintained throughout the
Waterfront for quiet walks and the enjoyment of                                   12.      Evolving and Flexible
the Waterfront’s views, fauna and flora.                                          The Waterfront should be designed to evolve
                                                                                  to fulfil the needs and desires of residents and
10.     Safe                                                                      visitors. For example, buildings should be designed
                                                                                  to accommodate different uses over time and fields
A number of features should be implemented                                        should be designed to accommodate a range of
to make the Waterfront safe including a
pedestrian and cyclist bridge across the Moira
River, pedestrian-scaled lighting, public and/or
emergency telephones and a circulation system
that clearly separates pedestrians and cyclists from
vehicular traffic.

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     2 . 3 Wate rfront A rea D es cri pti on

     2.3.1 West and East Zwick’s

                                                                       The area known as Zwick’s was once a marshy           Extensive programming has been developed
                                                                       island. Fishermen used Zwick’s as a base for their    on West Zwick’s, including soccer fields, a play
                                                                       operations.                                           structure, a picnic pavilion, a heritage military
                                                                       This area is divided into two components: West        airplane, a Park pavilion, a stage and a splash
                                                                       Zwick’s is 18-hectare (44.8 acres) and East Zwick’s   pad, as well as significant parking facilities. The
                                                                       is 20-hectare (49.4 acres) in area. Throughout        southern portion of West Zwick’s is well treed. Most
                                                                       the postwar period and until the 1960s, Zwick’s       festival activities are held in West Zwick’s.
                                                                       was used as a municipal landfill for industrial,      The north end of East Zwick’s is privately owned
                                                                       commercial and mainly household waste. The            and supports a marina and a hotel. A fenced Dog
                                                                       landfill was capped and man-made hillocks             Park is located just south of the hotel in a well-treed
                                                                       created on East and West Zwick’s.                     area and is separated from the hotel property by
                                                                       Zwick’s is separated from the rest of Belleville by   a narrow and linear swale. The south end of East
                                                                       Dundas Street, a busy east-west throughway, and       Zwick’s is occupied by relatively minor trees clusters
                                                                       a rail track. East and West Zwick’s are separated     and a treeless and hilly grassed area. East Zwick’s
                                                                       from one another by a road right of way that leads    offers limited parking close to the intersection with
     Key Plan                                                                                                                Bay Bridge Road. East Zwick’s is commonly used as
                                                                       to the Bay Bridge. An intersection provides the
                                                                       main vehicular access to East and West Zwick’s.       overflow parking during the Waterfront Festival.
                                                                       Towards the south end of Zwick’s, the road is
                                                                       significantly raised through a grassy berm. An
                                                                       underpass is provided to allow pedestrian and
                                                                       vehicular movement.


                                                                                                                                                                       Limit of waste
                                                                                                                                                                       30m buffer

     West Zwick’s provides majestic vistas from a number of vantage points along the shore.                                  Limit of former landfill operations at West and East Zwick’s.
                                                                                                                     Brook McIlroy Planning + Urban Design

View of the southwest tip of West Zwick’s Park.


The rolling landscape of East Zwick’s provides majestic views to the water and beyond.

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     2.3.2 Victoria Park

     Victoria Park was formerly an island, subsequently       Victoria Harbour is a popular area for docking
     linked to the mainland by a causeway. In the late        sailboats but complaints have arisen regarding
     1800s, a lumber mill was established on the island,      the growth of algae in the standing water at the
     but all evidence of it is now gone. Victoria Park’s      northern end of the harbour. The harbour is also
     main use is the marina with the yacht club property      used for skating in the winter, but ice storage has
     occupying about the southern third of Victoria           been interfering with this activity in recent years.
     Park. The Park also provides seasonal docking for        A significant constraint in planning improvements
     dragonboats and serves as a base for dragonboat          for Victoria Park is the current use of the Park for the
     competitions. Victoria Island is 3.4-hectare (8.4        removal and storage of frazzle ice from the Moira
     acres) in area.                                          River. This activity has in the past damaged trees in
     The centre of Victoria Park is occupied by grass and     the Park and boat slips in the Harbour. Also, the Park
     trees. A concession built in the last few decades is     is frequently flooded in the winter months, leading
     now closed, and is located next to a gazebo, which       to further damage. A comprehensive solution is
     is also not intensively utilized.                        required to address the problem of ice build-up in         Key Plan
     The arrival to the Park is easy to miss because of its   the Moira River, one that does not require Victoria
     narrowness and sharp angle. An undefined parking         Island to be used as an ice removal and storage
     area exists close to the entrance. An unmarked           site in the long term.
     and relatively wide street with no sidewalks or bike
     paths loops around the Park. It is frequently used
     for parking.


             This map, from 1875, shows the original          Bay of Quinte Yacht Club.                                  Victoria Island.
             configuration of Victoria Island.
                                                                                                                      Brook McIlroy Planning + Urban Design

                                                                                                                     Meyers Pier Marina.

Key Plan

2.3.3 Meyers Pier Park

In the Master Plan, the area commonly referred to          corner was recently improved with paths, benches
as Meyers Pier Park (MPP) also includes the property       and landscaping. To the east of Meyers Pier Park
located at 17 Pinnacle Street. Although in private         proper, a pavilion was built recently, with the result
ownership, this recently remediated area forms a           of improving safety in the area and creating a focal
logical part of the Park due to its adjacency and          point for Park users.
availability for development. The total land area of       Meyers Pier Park is connected to points east with a
MPP is 7.2-hectare (17.8 acres).                           well-designed and popular trail, but lacks vehicular                                                                    19
Meyers Pier Park is significantly undeveloped, save        access. From points north, Church, John and
for its marina, pier and pier pavilion. The marina         George Streets terminate in the Park but without
suffers from a lack of protection from prevailing          a formal east-west connection. The linkage to
winds and does not offer a competitive level of            downtown, Victoria Park and Zwick’s is provided
facilities to resident and visiting boaters. It does not   by South Front Street, a relatively wide local street,
offer winter boat storage.                                 but without specific amenities for Park users such
                                                           as wide sidewalks and bike lanes. Pinnacle Street,
Meyers Pier Park is characterized by large expanses
                                                           which extends northwards from the base of South
of undefined and unpaved driving and parking
areas, used for some festival activities and parking.      Front Street lacks sidewalks altogether.
Some tree clusters exist, but mostly at the edges of                                                                 The existing trail that runs east from Meyers Pier Park is
the Park. A linear area of the Park in the southeast                                                                 used frequently by residents and visitors for commuting and

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     2.4       Pu b lic/Stakehol der Cons ul t a t i on Pr oce ss

     Public consultation throughout the master planning
     process was extensive. The purpose of this process
     was to inform and involve stakeholders and a wide
     cross section of the community in the creation of the
     plan and to develop design options based on the
     public and stakeholders vision of the Waterfront.
     The public was first invited to a public workshop
     on October 2, 2004 to gather ideas and concerns.
     Three open houses with two sessions on each day
     were then held on November 25 2004, February
     17 2005 and June 22, 2005 to present interim
     and final findings to the public. In the meantime,
     updates were posted to the City’s website and the
     public was invited to submit comments to the City
     and the Team via email or through questionnaires
     distributed at the public events. Summaries of
     all Public Consultation events can be found in
     Appendix C: Summary of Public Consultation.
                                                             Over ninety community members attended the October 2004   Members of the public discuss the project with City representatives
                                                             Waterfront Workshop.                                      and the Consultant Team.

                                                             The Waterfront Design Workshop
                                                             A visioning workshop took place at the Ramada             Attendance exceeded expectations and seven sub-
                                                             Inn in the City of Belleville on Saturday, October 2,     groups of approximately ten to twelve participants
20                                                           2004. This initial design workshop was intended to        were formed and facilitated by a member of the
                                                             capture community ideas for the city’s Waterfront. It     consultant team. Each group was provided with an
                                                             was attended by over ninety participants, including       aerial photograph and study area map as well as
                                                             community residents, City of Belleville staff and         a questionnaire to be filled out upon completion of
                                                             other stakeholders. The workshop was preceded             the workshop.
                                                             with a presentation to provide background on the
                                                             Waterfront planning process, an account of key
                                                             activities to date and an overview of concepts to
                                                             be discussed during the workshop. Display boards
                                                             with precedents of other successful waterfront
                                                             developments throughout North America were
                                                             shown to the public.
                                                                                                                          Brook McIlroy Planning + Urban Design

                                                                                                                         The Second Open House
                                                                                                                         The second Open House was held on February 17,
                                                                                                                         2005 at the Recreation Centre with an afternoon
                                                                                                                         and evening session. The afternoon session was
                                                                                                                         attended by over sixty participants and the evening
                                                                                                                         session was attended by over forty participants,
                                                                                                                         including community residents, City of Belleville
                                                                                                                         staff and other stakeholders.
                                                                                                                         Attendees were invited to review boards that
                                                                                                                         illustrated the revised designs for the Waterfront.
                                                                                                                         A presentation by the Consultant Team provided
                                                                                                                         background on the Waterfront planning process,
                                                                                                                         an account of key activities to date and area specific
A presentation by the consultant team at the first Open House.                                                           designs, both preferred and alternative options, for
                                                                                                                         East and West Zwick’s, Victoria Harbour and Meyers
                                                                                                                         Pier Park, as well as other related areas. The design
The First Open House                                                                                                     concepts were based on the feedback received
                                                                 Attendees were invited to peruse boards that            during the visioning Workshop, the first Open
The first Open House was held on November 25,
                                                                 illustrated the various options for the Waterfront.     House sessions and from returned questionnaires.
2004 at the Recreation Centre with an afternoon
                                                                 Presentation by the Consultant Team provided            New questionnaires were provided, allowing each
and evening session. Detailed analysis and
                                                                 background on the Waterfront planning process,          participant to submit an individualized response on        21
preliminary concepts for the Belleville Waterfront
                                                                 an account of key activities to date and further        the key initiatives and area specific designs.
were presented. Area specific options were
presented based on the input received during the                 details on preliminary design options for Meyers
first visioning workshop that captured a range                   Pier Park, Victoria Harbour and East and West
of community ideas and background research                       Zwick’s.
performed by the Team. The afternoon session was                 Questionnaires were provided, allowing each
attended by over forty participants and the evening              participant to submit an individualized response
session was attended by over twenty participants,                on the principles and area specific options.
including community residents, City of Belleville
staff and other stakeholders.

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     A series of panels that illustrate the Consultant Team’s concepts are posted for viewing prior to the third Open House presentation.

     Presentation to Council and Third Open House
     The Belleville Waterfront Master Plan was presented to Belleville City Council on May 9th, 2005 and
22   approved in principle. At the third and final open houses, the final concept of the Master Plan as approved
     in principle was presented to the Public.
     The third Open House was held on June 22, 2005 at the Recreation Centre with an afternoon and an
     evening session. The afternoon session was attended by over fifty participants while the evening session
     was attended by over forty participants.
     Attendees were invited to review boards that illustrated the Master Plan for the Waterfront. A presentation
     by the Consultant Team provided background on the Waterfront planning process, an account of
     key activities to date, the elements of the Master Plan and an introduction to the Development Plan
     process. The design of the Waterfront Master Plan reflects feedback received during all previous public
     consultation sessions and from returned questionnaires. New questionnaires were distributed, allowing
     each participant to submit an individualized response on the elements of the Master Plan.