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Strategic Action Plan for Downtown Picton

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					Strategic Action Plan for
   Downtown Picton




             July 2005
             Prepared by
             Urban Marketing Collaborative
             Brook McIlroy Inc.
Strategic Action Plan for
   Downtown Picton

             TABLE OF CONTENTS



  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY                       1

  INTRODUCTION                            9

  FACT-FINDING AND ANALYSIS              11

  DOWNTOWN PICTION REAL ESTATE
  AND PHYSICAL PROFILE                   24

  DOWNTOWN’S STRENGTHS, OPPORTUNITIES,
  AND CHALLENGES                         36

  DOWNTOWN VISION                        51

  STRATEGY FRAMEWORK                     53

  APPENDIX                               105
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The consulting firms Urban Marketing Collaborative (UMC) and Brook McIlroy Inc. were retained
by Prince Edward County’s Economic Development Department and the Downtown Picton
Business Improvement Area (BIA) to undertake a strategic action plan for the Downtown area with
an emphasis on commercial, social, and physical elements. The study builds off the work completed
by the Downtown Revitalization Ad Hoc Committee and Street Smarts, which has begun to lay out
the foundation and vision for Downtown and the Picton Ward. The work carried out in this report
prepared by UMC and Brook McIlroy Inc. prioritizes projects for the BIA and the County and
includes a detailed action plan on how to accomplish each one.

Urban Marketing Collaborative and Brook McIlroy Inc. believe that Downtown Picton has the
following defining elements that are strengths and opportunities to build upon, as well as
weaknesses and challenges to be eliminated.

Strengths and Opportunities

Distinct Culture
A distinct culture and atmosphere has been created in Prince Edward County and Picton as a direct
result of its physical location and the people who live there. Picton’s culture is characterized as
more relaxed, community oriented, and built on a long Loyalist heritage. The fact that Prince
Edward County juts out into Lake Ontario and is connected by four bridges and a ferry has assisted
in fostering this unique outlook. Picton, as the largest centre, is the financial, civic, commercial, and
cultural centre for the County. This is built upon:
    An abundance of cultural and special events in the County and in Picton
    Natural environment including the agricultural and marine heritage as well as impressive parks
    within Downtown
    Heritage architecture and unique buildings that support the distinctive character of the area
    Other attributes including a tight network of side streets, walkways contribute to a well-
    connected pedestrian environment by providing short-cuts from Main Street to parking,
    parkland, and attractive view termini, and tree-lined streets.




                   Strategic Action Plan Picton Downtown Urban Marketing Collaborative and Brook McIlroy Inc. 1
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


Good Business Climate
The business climate in Picton and the County is improving. There are positive signs of
development and redevelopment. Picton’s focus should be more concentrated on managing growth
opportunities. References to the good business climate are:
  Property owners investing in developing new buildings and redeveloping existing ones
  A very good range of business goods and services all located in Downtown Picton
  Population growth and changes that are geared to a more sophisticated consumer
  Picton is the largest centre in the County as well as the location for Shire Hall. Many businesses
  are located here for that reason.

Challenges
The greatest challenge for Downtown Picton will be managing growth opportunities. There is
already development happening in and around Downtown including residential, commercial, and
civic. As a result, Downtown Picton’s action plan will emphasize business retention and growth
management as opposed to business recruitment. The outcome will be a Downtown environment
that will be of benefit for everyone: residents, visitors, merchants, property owners, the County,
other stakeholders. Managing the growth opportunities will be a guarantee that everyone will
benefit from growth as well as ensuring it happens for the collective interests. It will also be
important that growth progresses on Picton’s terms in terms of size, type, timing, etc.


                                              CHALLENGE
                                             Manage Growth
                                              Opportunities




                                             OUTCOME
                                           Downtown for ALL




      Organizational                 Business Retention                      Urban Design Issues
      Development




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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


Organizational Development
Currently there is too little money for any organization to be effective. The real voice of Picton is the
Downtown BIA. It is well recognized that the BIA has not been an effective organization directly
because of being a volunteer-run organization. Both the BIA and the County need to create a
stronger leadership role for Downtown Picton



Business Retention
As growth opportunities present themselves, it will be important to make sure that the existing
businesses in Downtown Picton remain strong.



Urban Design Issues
Issues affecting urban design are:
   Lack of consistency in building design and streetscape
   Transportation and connectivity – traffic flow and pedestrian linkages (Harbour, parking lots,
   parks, different districts, etc.)

The threats for Downtown Picton include:
  Continued inactivity out of fear of development or that development will erode Picton’s
  distinctive cultural assets
  Pressure for serviceable land to accommodate bigger box stores, particularly in the west end
  Pressure to build a by-pass road that will take consumers away from Main Street and possibly
  lead to commercial development on the fringes of the town
  Ensuring that the image projected to people about the County and Picton matches their
  expectations; otherwise, they will be disappointed and may not come back

Significant improvements to the public realm will require a strong champion and stable financial
commitments. Effecting change will require the adoption of the adequate policy underpinnings in
the form of a secondary plan and/or urban design guidelines combined with commitment to
implement and adhere to the vision contained in these documents. Incentives will have to be
considered in order to help achieve this vision




                  Strategic Action Plan Picton Downtown Urban Marketing Collaborative and Brook McIlroy Inc. 3
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


Downtown Picton’s Vision
Downtown Picton is a real functioning Downtown set in an agricultural and marine context. It
contains a mixture of uses including financial, civic, cultural, community service, accommodation,
residential, and commercial. This diversity is a very good thing and critical to it being different
from other similar sized towns. The vision will be to create and sustain the overall image of
Downtown that will have the following functions:
   True to local residents first
   Well functioning and commercially successful
   The historic architecture and the beautiful natural environment make Picton unique.
   Opportunities to preserve and enhance the built form as well as views and access to the Harbour
   and the parks need to be encouraged.
   Based on the distinctive island culture manifested in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere needs to
   be promoted internally.
   Connectivity throughout Downtown Picton will be ensured when pedestrian activity is
   prioritized.




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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY



Strategic Action Items

Organizational Development

     BIA Responsibility                              County Responsibility
     Immediate                                       Immediate
        Get organized – develop contact                 Assist the BIA in developing contact
        information                                     information
        Hire an Executive Director                      Downtown Revitalization Ad Hoc Committee
                                                        to assist in the hiring process and
                                                        transitioning BIA
     Immediate Work Lasting up to Two Years          Immediate Work Lasting up to Two Years
        Increase communication efforts                  Assist to find funds for BIA to implement
                                                        communication program
        Develop structure of BIA (Board, staff,         Downtown Revitalization Ad Hoc Committee
        committees, and funding)                        to assist with board-type work
                                                        Find funds to assist in overall Downtown
                                                        revitalization efforts




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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY



Business Retention

BIA Responsibility                               County Responsibility
Immediate                                        Immediate
   Publish Downtown revitalization report            Publish reports on Downtown, Economic
   to members                                        Development, Strategic Cultural Plan to
                                                     Downtown stakeholders
   Businesses support one another                    Support Downtown businesses by visiting
                                                     Downtown businesses (be seen eating and
                                                     shopping Downtown)
Short Term                                       Short Term
   Develop a strategic marketing plan                Offer assistance as required (possible none)
   Review events to ensure they are retailer         Communicate event logistics produced by the
   friendly                                          County (e.g., Taste) with Downtown businesses
                                                     so they can capitalize on them
Short to Medium Term                             Short to Medium Term
   Work with Public Works and County to              Review parking management system
   ensure parking meets businesses goals
   and objectives
   Supplement additional cleaning and                Continue to keep Downtown area clean and well
   maintenance services not provided by the          maintained
   County
   BIA becomes a resource centre for                 Assist in liaison efforts and bring in other partners
   businesses                                        (e.g., Community Futures Development
                                                     Corporation, banks, etc.)
Long Term                                        Long Term
   Support efforts to add more cultural              Take on projects that will add more cultural
   businesses in Downtown                            businesses in Downtown or support non-profits
                                                     working on viable projects
   Concentrated retail recruitment efforts for       Support BIA’s specialized retail recruitment
   select missing businesses                         efforts with additional information or liaison
                                                     service




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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY



Urban Design Issues

BIA Responsibility                     County and Street Smarts              Property Owners
                                       Responsibility
Immediate                              Immediate                             Immediate
   Assist to determine areas of           Repair existing brick treatment
   high priority for repairing brick
   treatment
                                          Prepare tree inventory
Immediate – Part of Urban              Immediate – Part of Urban             Immediate – Part of Urban
Design Study                           Design Study                          Design Study
   Assist in discussions on street        Investigate and adopt palette of       Support enhanced streetscape
   furniture                              street furniture                       with additional private sector
   Determine if additional funds                                                 funds potentially through the
   from property owners are                                                      BIA
   required
   Assist in discussions on               Prepare streetscape master
   streetscape master plan                plan
   Assist in discussion on                Improve traffic safety through
   improving traffic safety               study
Short Term – When                      Short Term – When                     Short Term – When
Opportunities Present                  Opportunities Present                 Opportunities Present
Themselves                             Themselves                            Themselves
   Assist in discussions as needed        Prepared cycling master plan
   on cycling master plan
   Advocate for business and              Encourage civic spaces and             Ensure interests concerning
   property owners regarding              patios                                 patios are relayed through BIA
   patios
Plan for 2006 Implementation           Plan for 2006 Implementation          Plan for 2006 Implementation
   Assist as required in planning         Make parkland for people
   (e.g., where to put directional        friendly
   signage) for parks
   Assist in marketing and                Creation of a market                   Ensure interests regarding
   provide adjudication services                                                 competition of market vendors
   for potential vendors                                                         are heard through the BIA
   Create a market team




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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY



Urban Design Issues, cont’d

BIA Responsibility                     County and Street Smarts              Property Owners
                                       Responsibility
Over next 5 years part of Urban        Over next 5 years part of Urban       Over next 5 years part of Urban
Design study and Ongoing               Design study and Ongoing              Design study and Ongoing
   Assist as required on                  Improve parking lots                   Improve private parking lots
   improving parking lots
   Assist as required on                  Improve walkways                       Improve building side along
   improving walkways                                                            walkways
   Assist as required on                  Begin relationship with                Work cooperatively with
   connecting Downtown to the             Harbour                                Harbour Committee
   Harbour
   Assist as required to help             Protect historic buildings –           Work cooperatively using
   design façade improvement              review façade improvement              incentives
   program                                and/or historic preservation
                                          area
   Assist as required to ensure           Ensure quality infill                  Work cooperatively
   quality infill
   Assist as required on signage          Signage control                        Work cooperatively
   control
   Assist as required on parking          Parking design
   design




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INTRODUCTION



1.0    INTRODUCTION

The consulting firms Urban Marketing Collaborative (UMC) and Brook McIlroy Inc. were retained
by Prince Edward County’s Economic Development Department and the Downtown Picton
Business Improvement Area (BIA) to undertake a strategic action plan for the Downtown area with
an emphasis on commercial, social, and physical elements. The study builds off the work completed
by the Downtown Revitalization Ad Hoc Committee and Street Smarts, which has begun to lay out
the foundation and vision for Downtown and the Picton Ward. The results of the committee
meetings and workshops have produced a series of specific goals and objectives. These goals and
objectives are referenced later in this report. The work carried out in this report prepared by UMC
and Brook McIlroy Inc. prioritizes projects for the BIA and the County and includes a detailed
action plan on how to accomplish each one.

The purpose of the background sections of this report is to highlight the strengths and challenges of
Downtown Picton, specifically with respect to confirming and prioritizing key elements of the
foundation work. The ultimate goal is to create the proper conditions to manage growth
opportunities for Downtown Picton.

Much of the information contained in this report is the result of primary research conducted by
UMC and Brook McIlroy Inc. The research included interviews with key stakeholders associated
with the Downtown, an inventory of existing commercial space, and a physical survey of the area.



1.1    Background and Project Understanding


Downtown Picton includes the commercial properties located along Main Street from Talbot
Street/Lake Street to Bridge Street. It also extends along Main Street East towards the Picton
Fairgrounds on the north shore and along Bridge Street on the south shore toward Phillip Street.
The primary core of commercial businesses extends from Walton Street to Bridge Street. Additional
commercial businesses are located elsewhere in Picton Ward that are also part of the BIA, and there
are businesses located just outside the Ward’s boundaries (e.g., No Frills and Canadian Tire), which
are not part of the BIA.




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INTRODUCTION



Report Format
As a first step in assisting Downtown Picton to develop a strategic action plan, UMC and Brook
McIlroy Inc. conducted fact-finding initiatives as part of the market analysis to identify the area’s
strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. These initiatives included the following:
   A review of published reports and statistics
   Trade area definition
   Demographic analysis of Downtown Picton’s trade areas
   Interviews with a variety of commercial businesses, businesses, and key stakeholders to identify
   issues and opinions about business, civic, and cultural success in the area
   Inventory and inspection of the businesses and services in Downtown
   An issues and opportunities review of the physical environment and urban design
   A summary of key findings and the implications for commercial businesses.

This section of the report summarizes the findings of these activities and provides background
information from which the final strategic action plan was developed. This includes vision and
strategy framework.




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FACT-FINDING AND ANALYSIS



2.0    FACT-FINDING AND ANALYSIS

The fact-finding and analysis step is vital to the development of a customized and comprehensive
Downtown revitalization action plan. This section of the report provides general and specific
demographic data and consumer profile data on the target markets for Downtown Picton.




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FACT-FINDING AND ANALYSIS



2.1      Review of Downtown Revitalization Ad Hoc Committee Vision and Goals


From the Downtown Revitalization Ad Hoc Committee, the following were noted as Downtown
Picton’s vision, challenges, and action items:

Vision                                       Challenges
   Economic                                        Financial
    - Vital and vibrant                             - Seasonal impact
    - Role as main shopping                         - Vacant lots and stores
        entertainment centre                        - Lack of confidence in revitalization
    - Extended business hours                       - No incentives
    - Thriving Regent Theatre                       - Businesses not promoting themselves to locals
    - “Good hosting” attitude                       - No viable model for Regent Theatre
   Physical                                         - Year-round maintenance of walkways and parking
    - Sense of heritage                                 lots
    - Inclusive of Harbour                         Communications
    - Clusters of businesses                        - Lack of common vision
    - Shire Hall central to                         - Unable to identify partners
        Downtown                                    - Lack sense of ownership for problems, consensus
    - Adequate and convenient                       - Lack process for solving problems, lack leadership
        parking                                     - Lack guidelines
    - Pedestrian friendly                           - Lack definition of heritage
   Social                                           - Lack signage to find Downtown
    - Improved partnerships                         - Many do not see the connection between Harbour
    - Downtown for all                                  and Downtown
    - Synergy among businesses                      - Single minded businesses – businesses community
    - Real Downtown                                     fragmented
                                                    - Fear competition from Farmers’ Market
                                                    - Lack retail cluster plan
                                                   Political
                                                    - Difficult to get new ideas implemented
                                                    - Traffic discourages local residents to shop
                                                    - Youth not welcome, no activities for youth
                                                    - Lack of benches, social gathering spaces
                                                    - No clear support from Council
                                                    - Central Shire Hall not a municipal priority
                                                    - Future development may worsen Downtown
                                                        situation
                                                    - Seniors need space to socialize
                                                    - Lack of access and views to Harbour
                                                    - Too many driveways/curb cuts along Main St.
                                                    - Inadequate lighting
Source: Downtown Revitalization Ad Hoc Committee




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FACT-FINDING AND ANALYSIS



Actions from the Downtown Revitalization Ad Hoc Committee include:

Financial
   Create shoulder season events, especially for Downtown Picton
   Create tax incentives for new development and redevelopment
   Develop tool kit to help potential developers
   Hire Picton Downtown Manager
   Fill vacant buildings and sites with synergistic businesses

Communication/Connections
   Promote Picton to local residents
   Link Harbour Committee with Downtown plan
   Support Ryerson charette to improve Harbour/Downtown connection
   Develop policy to ensure development coincides with Downtown revitalization plan
   Achieve buy-in
   Create guidelines for store/building façades
   Define heritage
   Create back street guide for local residents
   Create more socialization spaces
   Develop education program
   Improve signage
   Conduct needs assessment of BIA members
   Work cooperatively with Harbour property owners

Political and Municipal Administrative
   Provide decision makers with clearly articulated plans and vision
   Develop empty store window dressing
   Establish/assert leadership model for Downtown revitalization plan
   Encourage support for Regent Theatre
   Improve traffic, lighting, driveways, curb cuts, parking, signage, streetscaping, and outdoor
   furnishings, etc.
   Liaise with BIA on promotional program to shop locally




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FACT-FINDING AND ANALYSIS



Downtown Revitalization Ad Hoc Committee
   Determine what a real Downtown is and communicate with stakeholders
   Show businesses success models
   Create list of stakeholders and assess roles
   Engage stakeholders in the process
   Identify youths’ and seniors’ needs
   Achieve greater stakeholder input
   Champion Shire Hall’s critical importance of a Downtown location



2.2    Downtown Picton Trade Areas


Several trade areas affecting Downtown Picton were analyzed to provide a more robust indication
of their size and nature. Different commercial businesses have different trade areas. Convenience
retailers such as grocery stores and hardware stores would have smaller trade areas compared to
destination retailers, which attract from further away. The major difference would be that visitors
for convenience retailers frequent Downtown Picton on a very regular basis, but destination
retailers tend to attract from a larger area on a more infrequent basis.

Three drive-time trade areas (15 minute, 30 minute, and 60 minute) combined with benchmarks
provided by Picton Ward, Prince Edward County, and Ontario were analyzed.

In addition, a portion of the sales to Downtown Picton businesses originates from outside of the
delineated trade areas. This represents “in-flow” from areas outside the designated trade areas (e.g.,
tourists from Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, etc.)

Observation: Picton is the largest destination in Prince Edward County. It is referred to as the
fulcrum/hub, and other communities and activities in the County are the spokes.




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FACT-FINDING AND ANALYSIS



                     Downtown Picton Drive Time Trade Areas




            15, 30, and 60 minute drive times from Downtown Picton




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FACT-FINDING AND ANALYSIS



2.3        Trade Area Population Characteristics


An analysis of the demographic composition of trade area residents reveals interesting facts about
the potential visitors to Downtown Picton. However, the census data underestimates the total
population as it excludes seasonal residents.

The following analysis is based on residents who consider this to be their primary residence.

                                                         Residents


                                        15 Minute 30 Minute 60 Minute                 Picton      County   Ontario
 Population 2004 Est.                    16,593         41,246         219,758            4,580   28,156   11,985,792
 Households 2004 Est.                     6,750         16,924         86,347             1,888   11,270   4,432,116
 Five Year Growth Rate (04-09)            2.0%           2.4%           2.2%              2.1%     2.6%      6.0%
                                        Source: Statistics Canada, Gen 5 2004 estimates



                 County/Divsion Estimated Population Growth 2001 to 2003
                               Central and Eastern Ontario

           12%


           10%


           8%


           6%


           4%


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Source: Statistics Canada, FP Markets




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FACT-FINDING AND ANALYSIS



Observation: Within 15 minutes of Downtown Picton there are approximately 17,000 full-time
residents and within 60 minutes there are approximately 220,000 full-time residents. Projected
growth rates are relatively healthy. In addition, anecdotal evidence indicates that the County has
grown faster in the post-census years than anticipated. As such, these growth rates may be
conservative. Growth rates for Prince Edward County from 2001 to 2003 indicate that it is
growing faster than many other counties/divisions in central and eastern Ontario. As a more
senior-based community, Picton and Prince Edward County must continually strive to attract
people to live in the region to sustain their commercial businesses.



                                              Age and Household Size Profile


                                   15 Minute 30 Minute 60 Minute           Picton       County      Ontario
       Age Profile
       < 10                            9.8%         10.2%      11.9%       10.1%        10.1%        12.6%
       10 to 19                       13.9%         13.4%      13.9%       14.0%        13.5%        13.6%
       20 to 29                        7.5%          9.2%      10.7%        7.7%         7.8%        12.8%
       30 to 39                       11.6%         12.6%      14.2%       11.6%        12.0%        16.0%
       40 to 49                       15.8%         15.2%      15.9%       15.8%        15.8%        16.0%
       50 to 59                       14.6%         14.6%      13.0%       14.8%        14.9%        12.0%
       60 to 69                       12.4%         11.2%       9.6%       11.9%        12.5%        8.0%
       70+                            14.3%         14.6%      10.9%       14.1%        13.4%        9.1%
       Household Size
       1 Person                       23.3%         23.3%      23.3%       24.1%        21.1%        23.5%
       2 People                       41.0%         40.2%      37.4%       39.4%        41.9%        31.5%
       3 People                       13.9%         14.6%      16.1%       14.8%        14.4%        16.6%
       4+ People                      21.8%         21.9%      23.4%       21.8%        22.6%        28.4%
       Persons/Household               2.42          2.49       2.58        2.40         2.47         2.68
Source: Statistics Canada, Gen 5 2004 estimates


Observation: Throughout the County and in Picton there is a greater proportion of residents over
40 years of age. This occurs at the expense of residents 20 to 39 years of age. The proportion of
children, especially between 10 and 19 years of age, is approximately the same if not greater than
Ontario. Twenty-four percent of the population is under 20 years of age. A significant proportion
of family households are combined with a significant proportion of empty nesters, which
provide an interesting target marketing challenge to businesses.




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FACT-FINDING AND ANALYSIS



                                                  Education and Occupation

                                           15 Minute 30 Minute 60 Minute     Picton     County     Ontario
       Education Attainment
       Less than high school                  32.0%       31.0%    27.0%     31.0%       30.0%      26.0%
       High school                            14.0%       16.0%    16.0%     14.0%       15.0%      14.0%
       Trade, Diploma                         39.0%       40.0%    41.0%     39.0%       39.0%      34.0%
       University                             15.0%       13.0%    16.0%     16.0%       16.0%      26.0%
       Employment Rate                        57.3%       58.4%    63.4%     57.1%       58.3%      67.2%
       Occupation
       Accommodation/Food                         6.8%    8.1%     6.9%       6.5%       6.7%        6.4%
       Arts/Entertainment/Culture                 2.9%    2.5%     2.5%       2.8%       2.9%        5.0%
       Retail/Wholesale                       15.7%       16.8%    19.0%     15.9%       16.0%      15.8%
       Education/Health                       17.6%       17.7%    18.9%     18.8%       17.5%      15.0%
       Public Administration                      4.0%    5.7%     8.7%       4.0%       4.6%        5.2%
       Finance/Real Estate/Ins.               14.9%       15.6%    17.8%     15.4%       14.4%      16.0%
       Professional                               4.7%    3.6%     3.9%       5.3%       4.8%        7.3%
       Skilled and Semi-Skilled               12.0%       12.1%    10.4%     11.1%       11.7%      11.3%
       Agriculture                                9.7%    6.9%     2.9%       8.1%       9.3%        2.1%
       Other                                      5.6%    5.1%     4.7%       6.4%       5.1%        4.7%
Source: Statistics Canada, Gen 5 2004 estimates


Observation: The employment rate is approximately 10% lower than in Ontario reflecting the
fact that Picton and the County attract a significant number of retirees.

There is a higher percentage of the labour force employed in agriculture and education/health
compared to Ontario averages and proportionately fewer employed in arts/entertainment/culture
and professional occupations.




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FACT-FINDING AND ANALYSIS



                                                      Household Income

                                          15 Minute 30 Minute 60 Minute       Picton    County       Ontario
    Household Income Profile
    Less than $15,000                        11.7%        12.1%    11.1%      12.3%      10.3%        10.5%
    $15,000 to $29,999                       21.8%        21.7%    18.8%      22.6%      19.4%        15.4%
    $30,000 to $44,999                       21.3%        19.9%    18.9%      20.0%      21.7%        15.5%
    $45,000 to $59,999                       15.6%        15.9%    16.2%      14.9%      16.4%        13.7%
    $60,000 to $74,999                       11.5%        12.2%    12.6%      10.7%      12.4%        12.3%
    $75,000 to $99,999                       9.0%         9.5%     12.1%       9.6%      10.0%        14.3%
    $100,000 to $149,999                     7.0%         6.7%      8.4%       7.8%       7.6%        12.3%
    $150,000+                                2.1%         2.0%      2.6%       2.2%       2.8%        5.8%
    Average Per Capita Income               $25,942      $25,996   $27,954   $26,249    $27,159      $32,861
Source: Statistics Canada, Gen 5 2004 estimates


Observation: While the average household income skews slightly lower than the Ontario
average, it should be noted that approximately 20% of households earn more than $75,000. This
combined with the facts that households are smaller and that many retirees have no mortgage
means that discretionary income is higher than indicated by an initial analysis.

Summary
The commercial implications of the demographic analysis include the following:
  A growing population: higher than most other counties/divisions in Eastern Ontario and cottage
  communities present commercial growth opportunities
  There are strong population segments of teenagers and residents over 40 years of age
  Although household incomes are slightly lower on average, there is a sizeable population of
  middle to higher income households. In addition, many of these households have less debt than
  new households with young children
  These statistics do not reflect the seasonal nature of the region and under-estimate total
  population levels and household incomes.




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2.4    Expenditure Analysis

The annual estimates of consumer spending by major category for the delineated trade areas are
derived from the combination of (a) an analysis of income characteristics, and (b) an analysis of
Statistics Canada Household Expenditure Data.

The amount of consumer spending is a function of many influencing factors such as income,
household size, debt, and age. Of all the influencing factors, income is the most important because
the more money people make, the more able and likely they are to spend. While the relationship
between income and expenditures is strong, it is not a direct proportional relationship. As income
rises (in real terms), a greater share of the income is spent on services, vacations, investments, and
other non-consumable items.

The table on the following page provides a breakdown of major spending categories and sub-
categories. Annual expenditure per household for the trade areas is shown in this table.

Proportionate to household income, expenditures by households within 15 minutes of Downtown
spend:

      Proportionately Less on            An Average Amount on                      Proportionately More on
      Dry cleaning                      Clothing                                   Medicine
      Child care                        Reading materials                          Health care
      Restaurants                       Home entertainment                         Tobacco
      Served alcohol                    Recreation                                 Home improvement
                                        Gardening                                  Pet food
                                                                                   Grocery items
                                                                                   Bought alcohol
                                 Source: Statistics Canada, Gen 5 2004 estimates




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                          Annual Consumption Expenditure per Household

                                     15 Minute 30 Minute60 Minute             Picton     County   Ontario
  Retail Merchandise
  Men's Clothing                        $843         $848         $891         $856       $892    $1,044
  Women's Clothing                     $1,107       $1,111       $1,168       $1,123     $1,177   $1,362
  Home Furnishings                     $1,500       $1,458       $1,532       $1,510     $1,569   $1,789
  Home Improvement                     $1,304       $1,233       $1,143       $1,363     $1,336   $1,278
  Garden Supplies and Services          $243         $231         $233         $307       $305     $325
  Pet Food and Supplies                 $299         $287         $289         $307       $305     $325
  Reading Materials                     $264         $258         $273         $267       $275     $326
  Home Entertainment                    $459         $465         $495         $468       $489     $592
  Recreation                            $915         $927         $989         $929       $985    $1,161
  Convenience Goods
  Food                                 $6,100       $6,105       $6,230       $6,219     $6,312   $6,863
  Alcohol                               $423         $416         $415         $430       $437     $463
  Tobacco                               $618         $569         $524         $657       $579     $567
  Household Operations                 $2,424       $2,424       $2,501       $2,460     $2,526   $2,816
  Medicine                              $467         $429         $392         $468       $446     $384
  Services
  Personal Care                         $678         $679         $727         $684       $714     $840
  Laundry and Dry Cleaning               $35          $42          $58             $36    $39       $86
  Child Care                            $168         $217         $282         $171       $216     $334
  Health Care                          $1,518       $1,432       $1,404       $1,533     $1,510   $1,517
  Eating and Drinking
  Restaurants                          $1,118       $1,150       $1,240       $1,139     $1,185   $1,502
  Served Alcohol                        $182         $182         $207         $186       $191     $273
                                 Source: Statistics Canada, Gen 5 2004 estimates




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2.5      Retail Sales Comparison


A comparison of Picton’s retail sales compared to other communities’ shows that Picton retailers
are competitive with other communities similar in size. Larger communities such as Greater
Belleville and Cobourg attract higher sales per store due to the presence of chain store retailers, big
box retailers, and malls.

                           2001 Average Retail Sales per Store (sales in $1000s)

                                                                                Greater            Greater
                                         Picton    Gananoque        Perth       Napanee Cobourg Belleville
      Population                          4,580        5,434        6,151        15,800   19,700   86,580
      Total Retail                       $1,519          –          $2,060       $2,348   $2,828   $2,499
      Total Retail Less Automotive       $1,582          –          $1,294       $1,790   $1,918   $2,144
      Total Food and Beverage            $2,904        $2,767       $2,290       $2,322   $4,100   $4,040
      Grocery excl. Conv. Stores         $8,083          –          $7,073         –      $9,932      –
      Pharmacies and Drugs               $2,895        $2,475       $1,951       $1,932   $3,942   $2,271
      Clothing Stores                     $487          $215         $502         $550     $535     $738
                                        Source: SARTRE data Statistics Canada


Retail stores are classified as retailers selling products such as general merchandise, apparel, food,
furniture, home furnishings, electronics, and household operations. It does not include restaurants,
personal services, or professional services. Data is only available up to 2001. Since that time,
Ontario retailers have suffered set backs in the tourism industry but overall there has been growth.
However, low interest rates have continued to assist the home improvement industry, and other
retailers in Picton have noted that sales have increased during this period.

Picton retailers such as grocery (excluding convenience stores) and pharmacies and drug perform
better than other communities such as Perth and Napanee, but overall larger communities such as
Cobourg and Greater Belleville draw greater sales to their malls and power centres.

As stated, Downtown Picton primarily relies upon residents living within a 15 minute drive time
for most of their convenience goods and services needs. The Statistics Canada population for this
trade area was approximately 17,000. The additional seasonal residents, including weekend
residents and summer retirees, provide additional customers to fulfill market demand.




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Economic Growth

A review of the value of building permit values for Prince Edward County demonstrates the
growth over the past five years. Given current growth rates, the value of all building permits,
including commercial, residential, and industrial, should approximate $50 million.



       Value of Building Permits for Prince Edward County – 2000 to April 2005 (in $1000s)


                                                                       Year-Over-Year
                                                    Total               Growth Rate
                  2000                             $26,870
                  2001                             $36,170                  34.6%
                  2002                             $32,923                  -9.0%
                  2003                             $35,516                  7.9%
                  2004                             $41,407                  16.6%
                  YTD 2005                         $11,720                  27.0%
                                           Source: Statistics Canada




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DOWNTOWN PICTON REAL ESTATE AND PHYSICAL PROFILE



3.0    DOWNTOWN PICTON REAL ESTATE AND PHYSICAL PROFILE

In order to develop a full picture of the commercial environment in Downtown Picton, a series of
key person interviews were conducted. In addition, a commercial audit was included to help
uncover key strengths and weaknesses.

An audit of the existing commercial businesses in Downtown Picton (primarily along Main Street
and Bridge Street) was conducted in April 2005, to completely understand the current commercial
situation in both areas. The area studied is depicted on the map on the following page and is
comprised of all ground level commercial uses. Government property and park land is also
identified.

In completing this inventory, the strengths and weaknesses of Downtown Picton’s business mix
were identified. The following are the salient findings based on the commercial audit:



3.1    Downtown Picton Commercial Audit


  There were 203 commercial businesses audited in Downtown Picton located on Main Street and
  Bridge Street. There are additional businesses throughout Picton that are not included in the
  audit as well as those located just outside Picton Ward (e.g., Canadian Tire and John and
  Lesley’s No Frill’s).
  The total commercial square footage is approximately 470,000. This is a sizeable Downtown area
  that is equivalent to much larger communities.
  There are 10 vacant properties totaling 16,500 square feet of space. Several other properties are
  under renovation. Generally, the vacancy rate is low (4%). It is anticipated that during the
  summer season a number of these buildings will be rented to capture the summer tourist season.
  The number of professional services dominates Downtown Picton. These businesses tend to be
  clustered more on the western edge of Downtown between Walton Street and Talbot Street. In
  addition, this area also contains most of the convenience goods and services including two
  grocery stores, drug store, liquor store, two hardware/home improvement stores, one of the
  four banks, and fast food retailers. This is a very valuable anchor for Downtown Picton and
  needs to be preserved and enhanced through planning controls, cooperation, and retail retention
  activities.




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 The core of the historic Downtown is located from Walton Street to Bridge Street. The smaller
 footprints make this area more pedestrian friendly and inviting. It is anchored in the middle by
 the post office, Amoury, library, and Regent Theatre. There are smaller restaurants as well as
 gift/leisure retailers. Other retail anchors include Giant Tiger and Stedmans. Due to the two
 large vacant lots on the eastern edge and the pedestrian unfriendliness of the Top-of-the-Hill
 intersection, the eastern edge of Downtown Picton does not appear as healthy as the areas near
 Bowery Street.
 East of Downtown along the north and south shores are numerous civic and cultural attractions
 that provide an additional anchor to feed into the Downtown commercial environment along
 Main Street. The inns/hotels, Shire Hall, Picton Harbour, Picton Fairgrounds and, to a certain
 extent, the hospital, generate both visitors and workers as potential Downtown Picton shoppers.
 Redevelopment is happening throughout Downtown including The Renovators, the Queens
 Hotel and retail, Gilbert and Lighthall Marketplace, and property purchases.
 The majority of commercial businesses are located along Main Street. This provides a high
 degree of visibility for most retailers. Picton has developed in a manner such that “all roads lead
 to Downtown Picton.” This has benefited Downtown Picton; however, the street is almost too
 long for a complete visit.
 Overall, there is a healthy mix of retail merchandise, convenience goods and services, eating and
 drinking, and personal and professional services, which in total make for a well functioning
 Downtown environment.




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DOWNTOWN PICTON REAL ESTATE AND PHYSICAL PROFILE


                           DOWNTOWN PICTON RETAIL/COMMERCIAL AUDIT
                                                                Number of Businesses            Square Footage
                                                         Number            % of Total         Total       % of Total

RETAIL MERCHANDISE
Apparel and Accessories
            Apparel and Shoes                               8                3.9%            17,000          3.6%
            Jewellery                                       2                1.0%             3,200          0.7%
            Total                                          10                4.9%            20,200          4.3%
Home
            Electronics and Appliances                      2                1.0%             2,000          0.4%
            Home Furnishings                                6                3.0%            29,500          6.3%
            Home Improvement                                4                2.0%            26,500          5.7%
            Total                                          12                5.9%            58,000         12.4%
Leisure
            Toys and Hobby                                  7                3.4%            16,500          3.5%
            Gifts                                           2                1.0%             3,000          0.6%
            Pets                                            2                1.0%             3,300          0.7%
            Art Gallery                                     2                1.0%             5,000          1.1%
            Second Hand/Antiques                            7                3.4%            19,300          4.1%
            Music                                           1                0.5%             1,000          0.2%
            Sporting Goods                                  2                1.0%             3,500          0.7%
            Total                                          23                11.3%           51,600         11.0%
Other General Merchandise
            General Merchandise                             4                2.0%            28,700          6.1%
            Optical                                         1                0.5%             1,000          0.2%
            Florist                                         3                1.5%             5,200          1.1%

            Total                                           8                3.9%            34,900          7.4%


TOTAL RETAIL MERCHANDISE                                   53                26.1%           164,700        35.1%


CONVENIENCE – FOOD AND DRUG
            Convenience Store                               4                2.0%             7,600          1.6%
            Drug Store                                      3                1.5%            10,000          2.1%
            Grocery                                         2                1.0%            32,000          6.8%
            Specialty Food/Alcohol                          6                3.0%            10,000          2.1%
            Total                                          15                7.4%            59,600         12.7%




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DOWNTOWN PICTON REAL ESTATE AND PHYSICAL PROFILE




                                                                 Number of Businesses            Square Footage
                                                          Number            % of Total         Total       % of Total

EATING AND DRINKING
             Café                                            4                2.0%             3,600          0.8%
             Fast Food                                      10                4.9%            14,600          3.1%
             Restaurant                                     10                4.9%            27,800          5.9%
             Bar                                             3                1.5%             6,200          1.3%
             Total                                          27                13.3%           52,200         11.1%


SERVICES
Personal Services
             Beauty                                         14                6.9%            16,300          3.5%
             Other Services                                  8                3.9%             9,400          2.0%
             Total Personal Services                        22                10.8%           25,700          5.5%
Offices                                                     53                26.1%           105,600        22.5%
Medical                                                     11                5.4%            18,600          4.0%
Commercial Banks                                             4                2.0%            13,500          2.9%
TOTAL SERVICES                                              90                44.3%           163,400        34.8%


OTHER RETAIL
Automotive                                                   5                2.5%             8,000          1.7%
Other                                                        1                0.5%             1,000          0.2%


TOTAL OCCUPIED COMMERCIAL                                   191               94.1%           448,900        95.7%


VACANT COMMERCIAL                                           10                4.9%            16,500          3.5%
OTHER VACANT – RENOVATED                                     2                1.0%             3,500          0.7%


TOTAL COMMERCIAL                                            203              100.0%           468,900        100.0%

Source: UMC




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DOWNTOWN PICTION REAL ESTATE AND PHYSICAL PROFILE


3.2    Downtown Picton Physical Profile


As stated, Downtown Picton is centred around its central Main Street. The total length that extends
approximately from Lake Street to Shire Hall and Tip of the Bay represents a 15-minute walk.
Circles on the plan represent an 800 metre or 10-minute walking distance. While this analysis
focuses on Main Street, it is understood that the vitality and quality of the surrounding fabric and
connections to the Main Street are key to the vibrancy of Main Street and the Downtown as a
whole.




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The circles show a 10-minute walking distance and correspond roughly to the two main districts: the Convenience District on the west side and the Main
Street District on the East Side. This plan also summarizes key opportunities discussed in the remainder of the document.




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     DOWNTOWN PICTION REAL ESTATE AND PHYSICAL PROFILE


     Both from a commercial and physical standpoint, three clear districts emerge, each with its
     own character, including:




i.   The Convenience District
     The Convenience District extends between Lake Street and Walton Street. In this location,
     the original fabric was primarily formed of houses and not a traditional main street, with
     narrow setbacks and commercial units on the ground floors of 2- to 3-storey buildings.
     These structures, primarily on the north side, have been partially replaced over time with
     larger commercial uses including the IGA Plaza and the A&P grocery store. Century-old
     houses remain in this district, interspersed with empty lots. This district is substantially
     automobile-oriented, with a wider roadway (4 lanes) and no on-street parking. Off-street
     parking is located in front of deeply set back buildings, highway commercial-style signage,
     and narrow sidewalks. The width of the street combined with gaps in the streetwall, deep
     setbacks, and low building heights, creates a less pedestrian-friendly or ‘intimate’ street
     environment. In addition, streetscape treatments applied to the Main Street District (see ii)
     have not been extended to this area, including concealed power lines, trees, brick paving,
     on-street parking, and heritage lighting. The lack of these attributes contributes to a very
     different character than in the Main Street District.




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                                              The Convenience District


         The Convenience District can be enhanced over time through streetscaping improvements and new
                   buildings to become better integrated with the older portion of Main Street.


ii. The Main Street District
    The Main Street District extends between Walton Street and Bridge Street and features a
    well-preserved 19th century Ontario Main Street with the following features:
    – A narrow 2-lane roadway
    – On-street parking
    – Heritage lighting
    – Narrow setbacks
    – Generally consistent streetwall
    – Commercial uses on the ground floor with residential or office uses on upper floors
    – Civic and cultural buildings
    – Rows of trees on either side
    – Clearly marked crosswalks at regular intervals
    – Brick paving features.

   There are exceptions to the above characteristics, primarily between Walton and Elizabeth
   Streets, and especially on the south side of the street between Bowery and Elizabeth Streets.
   Here, a plaza, gas station, and restaurant are set back from the street, provide parking at
   the front, and their wide driveways have prevented the planting of trees. This area of Main
   Street appears to have more pedestrian activity than areas to the East, perhaps due to the
   concentration of successful convenience-type businesses, including a gas station, video
   store, and pizzeria, and Mac’s, M&M’s Meat Shop, and Giant Tiger on the other side of
   Main Street.




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                                         The Main Street District




   Unique buildings, stores on the ground level, a continuous streetwall, on-street parking, and rows of
         trees are some of the ingredients that make Main Street Picton an attractive destination.




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   DOWNTOWN PICTION REAL ESTATE AND PHYSICAL PROFILE


iii. The Cultural and Civic District
     Past the Top-of-the-Hill eastwards, the character of the Downtown changes dramatically.
     On the north side of Main Street, commercial uses continue to Paul Street ending with a
     Petro-Canada station, followed by a series of large well-maintained century homes with
     deep setbacks. The same fabric exists on the south side of Main Street past Shire Hall. On
     the south side, the northeast corner of Main and Bridge Streets is occupied by a series of
     low buildings, some of which are unoccupied. Similar fabric extends south on Bridge
     Street. Bridge Street does not include the pedestrian amenities found in the Main Street
     District. Sidewalks are narrow and there are few trees.




                                        The Cultural and Civic District




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   Top-of-the-Hill is a dangerous intersection that confuses drivers and pedestrians. The opportunity
       exists to terminate the view corridor with a landmark building, monument, or civic space.




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DOWNTOWN’S STRENGTHS, OPPORTUNITES, AND CHALLENGES



4.0    DOWNTOWN’S STRENGTHS, OPPORTUNITIES, AND
       CHALLENGES

Downtown Picton, like any business or product/service, must adhere to a sound business
plan. It has elements and features that are unique; elements that are important, but not
necessarily unique; and elements that are neither of these, but are nonetheless a Downtown
feature. Urban Marketing Collaborative and Brook McIlroy Inc. believe that Downtown
Picton has the following defining elements that are strengths and opportunities to build
upon, as well as weaknesses and challenges to be eliminated. These points can be grouped
into two major strengths and three major challenges.


          Strengths and Opportunities                                    Challenges
  Distinct culture:                                         Organizational development:
   – Culture and special events                              – Transition BIA
   – Natural environment                                    Business Retention
   – Heritage architecture and unique buildings             Urban design issues:
   – Immune in the past to development                       – Inconsistency
       pressures                                             – Transportation and connectivity
   – Other built form attributes
  Business climate:
   – Visionary property owners
   – Supporting businesses
   – Population growth
   – Civic, financial, commercial and cultural
       centre for the County



4.1    Unique Strengths and Opportunities


Distinct Culture
A distinct culture and atmosphere has been created in Prince Edward County and Picton as
a direct result of its physical location and the people who live there. Picton’s culture is
characterized as more relaxed, community oriented, and built on a long Loyalist heritage.
The fact that Prince Edward County juts out into Lake Ontario and is connected by four
bridges and a ferry has assisted in fostering this unique outlook. Picton, as the largest
centre, is the cultural centre for the County.




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DOWNTOWN’S STRENGTHS, OPPORTUNITES, AND CHALLENGES


Culture and Special Events
Downtown has an abundance of visitor-drawing cultural amenities, including performing
and visual arts (e.g., Regent Theatre, McCauley Museum, Jazz Festival, Art in the County,
Taste, among many others). In order to capitalize on these venues and events, the County
has developed a Cultural Plan to focus resources on developing this important industry.
Picton will benefit from improved arts and culture development. This report generally
supports the recommendations from the Strategic Cultural Plan especially as they relate to
Picton.

Natural Environment
The natural environment surrounding Picton has assisted in creating a community that is
different and stands out compared to other similar communities. The County is
surrounded by 800 km of waterfront producing outstanding water activities such as
sailing, hiking along the shoreline, and beach activities at the Sandbanks. In addition, the
rich agricultural heritage of the County has generated numerous large farming businesses.
The industry continues to evolve to now include wine/grape producing regions that not
only produce a consumable product but also generates additional spin-offs through
accommodation, restaurants, retail, and other hospitality associated industries.

Generally, because of the agricultural nature of the County, it is not uncommon to see large
transport trailers carrying large farm machinery through Downtown Picton. This fact helps
to distinguish Picton from other seasonal communities such as Georgian Bay, Muskoka,
Kawarthas, Haliburton, Bruce Peninsula, and the Thousand Islands.




                                Taste the County Advertisement


Benson Park and Delhi Park are located directly north and south of Main Street. Delhi Park
includes large open spaces, a cemetery, and trails for walking and biking, which provides a
fantastic amenity to residents and visitors although it is not immediately accessible and is
not visible from Main Street or from Bridge Street. Benson Park is also not well connected
and visible from Main Street, but has considerable opportunity to become much better use
if connected to the potential Market area to the East.




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DOWNTOWN’S STRENGTHS, OPPORTUNITES, AND CHALLENGES




                  Delhi Park is a beautiful green space well hidden from Main Street.




Benson Park could be much better used as an urban park providing relief to residents and visitors during
                                         events and every day.




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DOWNTOWN’S STRENGTHS, OPPORTUNITES, AND CHALLENGES


One of the most defining features of Picton is the Harbour. The natural deep-water
Harbour with access to the Bay of Quinte, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence Seaway has
generated growth for Picton in the past as a well-functioning port and, in its current form,
as a sailing/boating destination. However, more than its basic function of connecting
Picton with other port destinations, the Harbour serves as a defining symbol of Picton.
Residents and visitors are visibly passionate about the Harbour and its importance and
connectivity to Downtown. This includes views and access points to the Harbour itself.

The Picton Harbour Study (1989), although it contains dated information, still represents
many good recommendations. This report generally supports efforts to improve boating
facilities and connections between Downtown and the Harbour (e.g., improved signage).




                        View of Picton Harbour from the public boat launch


Heritage Architecture and Unique Buildings
Picton’s distinctive culture is also enhanced by its the heritage architecture. Beautiful
homes spanning four centuries provide a rich stock of residential buildings. Many have
been converted to B&Bs, hotels, and museums. Main Street Picton contains many very
good examples of historic architecture and distinctive character properties in a commercial
setting. This includes The Armoury, Prince Edward County Library, Regent Theatre, North
American Hotel, and Shire Hall, among others. Although buildings on Picton’s Main Street
were built in different periods, newer 20th century buildings, especially those constructed
in World War II, have generally respected setbacks and heights, creating a consistent
streetwall Together these buildings provide visible reminders of Picton’s and the County’s
history and heritage and also provide context in creating a unique atmosphere that is worth
preserving. Together they greatly contribute to a unique “sense of place.”




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DOWNTOWN’S STRENGTHS, OPPORTUNITES, AND CHALLENGES




From top left to right and down: Shire Hall, The Regent Theatre, The Picton Library, The Armoury, and the
                                              Royal Hotel.




  A consistent streetwall creates visual harmony and a pedestrian-friendly environment. It is especially
                        attractive when combined with a consistent row of trees.




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DOWNTOWN’S STRENGTHS, OPPORTUNITES, AND CHALLENGES


Immune in the Past to Development
Picton’s unique location away from Highway 401 has resulted in a community that has
been immune to large-scale development pressures both in terms of big box retailers and
transportation systems to handle growth.

Downtown Picton ‘s very good assortment of retailers along the Main Street is partially due
to the fact that in the past, larger development opportunities have bypassed Picton because
it was felt to be too small. As a result, there have not been large development applications
and the commercial area has remained relatively compact along Main Street. As an
example, Downtowns such as Belleville have diminished in stature as power centres and
mall development increased near Highway 401.

Picton’s immunity to large development has also resulted in the absence of a bypass road.
This is a key advantage to Picton’s commercial strength as it forces traffic through its
centre, bringing visitors to Main Street. It also means that convenience uses are aligned
with the traditional Main Street fabric, thus strengthening its competitiveness. A bypass
would remove the traffic from Main Street, resulting in reduced patronage, and would
likely attract convenience uses from Main Street, further encouraging residents to avoid
Main Street altogether.

In both situations, Picton is in a good situation to learn from the mistakes of other
communities.

Other Important Attributes of Downtown Built Form and Streetscaping
Along with a tight network of side streets, walkways contribute to a well-connected
pedestrian environment by providing short-cuts from Main Street to parking, parkland,
and adjacent properties north and south of Main Street.




                   Walkways are useful shortcuts that shorten walking distance and
                             invite pedestrians to go beyond Main Street.




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DOWNTOWN’S STRENGTHS, OPPORTUNITES, AND CHALLENGES


View termini are created when a street ends in a T-intersection. Picton is fortunate to have
several view termini that have been addressed with important buildings such as Shire Hall
terminating Paul Street and the Regent Theatre terminating Ross Street. As new buildings,
landmark elements, and open space are developed along Main Street, opportunities to
establish view termini to these elements will help create a sense of orientation.




  The Regent Theatre is a positive example of an attractive view terminus. The Giant Tiger building is an
  opportunity site for a building that addresses this prime location with a landmark feature and entrance
                                      centred on the view terminus.


Trees along Main Street frame the street and provide shade. These trees are relatively
mature, but are not consistently located.

Picton has already implemented many important streetscape improvements in some
sections of Main Street, including:
   Brick paving
   Heritage lighting
   Removal of large-scale hydro poles
   On-street parking
   Signalized crosswalks.




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DOWNTOWN’S STRENGTHS, OPPORTUNITES, AND CHALLENGES




Heritage lighting, rows of street trees, and on-street parking need to be provided throughout the Downtown.




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DOWNTOWN’S STRENGTHS, OPPORTUNITES, AND CHALLENGES


Business Climate
Visionary Property Owners
Many of the Downtown property owners realize the benefit of investing in Downtown
Picton. Downtown is fortunate to have active property owners who take an interest in
Downtown’s revitalization. On their own initiative, they are recreating historic façades and
recruiting complementary businesses that will make Downtown Picton an exciting and
vibrant centre for the County. Many Downtowns across Canada have property owners
who are apathetic to Downtown revitalization. In this case it makes it extremely difficult to
engage those property owners in active participation. Downtown’s active property owners
are definitely an asset.

Supporting Businesses
Downtown Picton services the area with a range of goods and services required for living.
Main Street is home to two large grocery stores in Downtown and one just on the outskirts
(as well, Giant Tiger sells food), three hardware stores, drug stores, beauty salons, post
office, movie rentals, four major banks, family dining establishments, professional services,
and other personal services. The combination of the assortment of convenience goods and
services creates an anchor for Downtown Picton. People come to Picton on a regular basis
for daily and weekly needs. In addition, these businesses are supplemented with a range of
destination retailers that are geared to gift, leisure, and the home. Along Main Street there
is almost 500,000 square feet of space in over 200 individual businesses. The result is that
Downtown Picton is comparable in size to larger communities, such as Cobourg and Port
Perry, providing year-round functionality for all residents and visitors. The balanced mix
of uses creates vibrancy that many Downtowns have lost.




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DOWNTOWN’S STRENGTHS, OPPORTUNITES, AND CHALLENGES




  The Picton Post Office is unique in the fact that all residents must pick up their mail at the Downtown
  location. The proposed new Post Office in Downtown will continue to serve this function as well. This
                 unique feature ensures people come Downtown on a very regular basis.


Population Growth, Changing Demographics, and Expanding Tourism
The expected growth of Picton and the County is matched by changes in the population.
There is a growing number of middle to higher income households moving to the area that
are affecting the age distribution and attitudes.

Civic, Financial, Commercial, and Cultural Centre for the County
Picton serves as the largest urban centre in Prince Edward County. With this distinction
comes a number of benefits including the location of Shire Hall. Shire Hall not only serves
as a symbol for the County but it also employs people who shop and eat in Downtown
Picton. In addition, there are a number of businesses and services that are located in
Downtown Picton as a result of its size and distinction. These businesses need to be here
for competitive reasons (e.g., banks, real estate, insurance, professional offices, medical
services, drug stores, etc.).




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DOWNTOWN’S STRENGTHS, OPPORTUNITES, AND CHALLENGES



4.2    Challenges


The greatest challenge for Downtown Picton will be managing growth opportunities. There
is already development happening in and around Downtown including residential,
commercial, and civic. As a result, Downtown Picton’s action plan will emphasize business
retention and growth management as opposed to business recruitment. The outcome will
be a Downtown environment that will be of benefit to everyone: residents, visitors,
merchants, property owners, the County, and other stakeholders. Managing the growth
opportunities will be a guarantee that everyone will benefit from growth as well as
ensuring it happens for the collective interests. It will also be important that growth
progresses on Picton’s terms in terms of size, type, timing, etc.




                                           CHALLENGE

                                          Manage Growth

                                           O     t   iti




                                            OUTCOME

                                         Downtown for ALL




                 Organizational       Business Retention        Urban Design Issues

                 Development




Organizational Development
Currently there is too little money for any organization to be effective. The County’s
economic development arm appears to be functioning well but the real voice of Picton is
the Downtown BIA. It is well recognized that the BIA has not been an effective
organization directly because of being a volunteer-run organization. The volunteer board
has to run their own businesses first, which means that the BIA’s needs are often delayed.
This is common for most volunteer boards. However, of all the organizations that represent
different business interests, the BIA is the only one that represents Downtown Picton’s
interests. Economic Development and the Chamber of Tourism and Commerce are County-
wide organizations, and the Prince Edward Lennox and Addington Community Futures
Development Corporation represents two large counties.



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There is no strong advocate for the look and feel of Downtown specifically related to
management, operations, and the environment.

The volunteer nature of the BIA is one of the reasons that have inhibited its ability to act.
However, numerous consultants have also acknowledged that this is a common problem
throughout Picton and the County. The recent Economic Development Report and the
Strategic Cultural Plan both make mention of the inertia to act on the part of organizations
working in Picton and the County.

Business Retention
As growth opportunities present themselves, it will be important to make sure that the
existing businesses in Downtown Picton remain strong. Businesses are often affected by the
polarization of target markets. There are the local residents who tend to be more value
conscious in terms of demand, who are juxtaposed against the seasonal residents and
visitors, who tend to be higher income and have higher expectations in terms of product
service and delivery. In conversations with local merchants, the consistent element among
those businesses that do well in Downtown Picton is the realization that they must:
   Serve the local market first
   Offer a range of goods and services from value to high end in a manner that does not
   disenfranchise one group or the other
   Look for business opportunities for expansion in terms of goods and services not offered
   elsewhere, including retail channel options (mail, telephone, Internet, etc.).

Most of the commercial competition for Downtown Picton stems from Belleville and, in
particular, the commercial development near Highway 401 (e.g., Quinte Mall, Famous
Players, big box retailers). Some of these retailers, such as Wal-mart, offer better prices and
selection than Downtown Picton.

Urban Design Issues
The over-riding concern for urban design is the lack of consistency. The County’s lack of
design controls has resulted in less-than-aesthetically-pleasing built forms developed in
Downtown (e.g., cinder block buildings set back from the street with parking at the front).
As development pressure grows, there is a greater urgency to provide assurance to all
concerned that inappropriate developments will not be allowed.

A potential challenge to be faced by the community is the prospect of new Main Street and
Picton development. Applications can be inappropriate because of their size, setback, use,
style, and material – despite existing zoning restrictions. Design Guidelines should be
developed to direct appropriate built form and site plans.




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DOWNTOWN’S STRENGTHS, OPPORTUNITES, AND CHALLENGES




This building on an Ontario Main Street could have been designed differently using the application of basic
                                    principles and detailed guidelines.


Inconsistency
From an urban design point, the streetscape in Downtown Picton varies. There are a
number of gaps in the streetwall on Main Street, either because of the use of a building (gas
station, set back building) or the loss of a building through fire or demolition. There are
new pavers mixed with 30 year-old red pavers. The tree landscape also changes and totally
disappears on the eastern edges of Main Street near Stedman’s. Merchants also experience
inconsistency in terms of bylaw enforcement (e.g., merchandising on the street, signage,
etc.).




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 Gaps present opportunities for redevelopment, but can be damaging to the integrity of the fabric as they
 make walking along Main Street less attractive. Temporary improvements are possible and desirable such
as a small park on the front quarter of the property with a couple benches and a temporary mural along the
                                                property


Transportation and Connectivity
There are major issues during the summer and shoulder season regarding the large
volumes of traffic along Main Street. Picton has developed in a unique manner by which all
major streets lead into Main Street thereby providing a central flow of pedestrians and
vehicles. However, it also means that it can take up to 30 minutes to get through town in
the summer. Several transportation issues must be solved, especially the Top-of-the-Hill
intersection.

In addition, vehicular and pedestrian linkages are extremely important. Linkage
opportunities to Downtown include:
   Increased marketing of the free parking lots on Mary Street and Market Lane,
   Improved connections between the alley ways and Main Street in terms of cleanliness,
   beautification, and commercial expansion opportunities in terms of patios
   Improved connections between the parks (e.g., Delhi Park and Benson Park) with
   signage, removal of fencing barriers, gateways to parks and paths/steps to and from
   parks using midblock connections for pedestrians and cyclists.




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DOWNTOWN’S STRENGTHS, OPPORTUNITES, AND CHALLENGES


 Improved connections with Picton Harbour and Downtown by improving sight lines
  and views of the Harbour at different vantage points, signage on Main Street and on
  Bridge Street, increased activities on the Harbour that connect with Downtown,
  shuttle/trolley service between the public boat launch, yacht club, and along Main
  Street, among other improvements. The significantly private nature of the Harbour is
  likely to limit opportunities to dramatically improve public access to this amenity in the
  short term. Also, contributing to this challenge is the separation between Main Street
  and the Harbour in which Bridge Street is a steep and busy street with few public
  amenities.

  The threats for Downtown Picton include:
 Continued inactivity out of fear of development or that development will erode Picton’s
  distinctive cultural assets
 Pressure for serviceable land to accommodate stores, particularly in the west end. The
  primary threat will come from smaller development in the west end (e.g., drug stores
  such as Shoppers Drug Mart opening on the west end) and less from very large stores
  (e.g. Canadian Tire)
 Pressure to build a by-pass road that will take consumers away from Main Street and
  possibly lead to commercial development on the fringes of the town
 Ensuring that the image projected to people about the County and Picton matches their
  expectations; otherwise, they will be disappointed and may not come back.

 Significant improvements to the public realm will require a strong champion and stable
 financial commitments. Effecting change will require the adoption of the adequate
 policy underpinning in the form of a secondary plan and/or urban design guideline
 combined with commitment to implement and adhere to the vision contained in these
 documents. Incentives will have to be considered in order to help achieve this vision.




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DOWNTOWN VISION



5.0      DOWNTOWN VISION

The strategy developed for Downtown Picton is based upon the results of the market
analysis as well as the results of the workshop held on May 30th 2005 with key stakeholders
to prioritize issues and opportunities. The vision should work as a branding tool and be
kept as a standard to help guide all future decisions regarding civic, social, residential, and
business development in Downtown. Actions that work towards fulfilling the vision
should be implemented, and ones that do not should be abandoned.

Downtown Picton encompasses a broader appeal than solely tourism. It is a real
functioning Downtown set in an agricultural and marine context. It contains a mixture of
uses including financial, civic, cultural, community service, accommodation, residential,
and commercial. This diversity is a very good thing and critical to it being different from
other similar sized towns. The vision will be to create and sustain the overall image of
Downtown that will have the following features in the mid-to-longer term. Downtown:

 Will be:                                                     Will not be:
      Busy day and evening, week and weekend, with               Quiet and empty in the off-season
      local pedestrian traffic                                   Geared only to tourists
      A prestigious address                                      Second rate
      Active, reflecting the rich heritage with views and        Abandoned
      access to the Harbour                                      Sectioned off from the Harbour
      A historically honest real Downtown that is an             A Disney-like Downtown
      alternative to the sameness of shopping malls and          Niagara-on-the-Lake
      big box retailers                                          Unkempt, unclean, and in disrepair
      Full of streetscaping that adds to the character
      and significance of the area
      Safe and perceived as safe                                 Perceived as unsafe
      A place for a diverse mix of households of all             Socially single-dimensionalized
      income levels, ages, and attitudes to socialize and        Same as every other small town
      enjoy themselves in a relaxed, island culture
      A cultural centre for the region based on                  Sterile or only special events
      sophisticated retailers
      The location of choice for festivals, activities, and
      special events




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DOWNTOWN VISION



Will be:                                                  Will not be:
   A mix of restaurants, culture, destination retail,         A generalist or only arts and culture
   and local goods and services that promote the              Only convenience goods and services
   character and talent of the business owners
   A significantly large and diverse mix of housing           A place that appeals to only one
   options and residents                                      target market or excludes residential
                                                              development
   Easy to find and easy to move about with ample             A hassle to find and use
   parking where the pedestrian activity is                   Hostile to pedestrians
   prioritized                                                Disconnected
   Connectivity throughout Downtown
   Prosperous for merchants                                   Economically unviable
   A business-friendly County and Downtown                    Overly regulated with red tape
   Run by consistent rules and regulations                    limiting business development
                                                              opportunities
   A place where the business community                       A place of isolated businesses going
   proactively works together for mutual benefit of           in different directions
   the entire community, and is involved




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STRATEGY FRAMEWORK



STRATEGY FRAMEWORK

Downtown Picton needs to be aware that there are no overnight miracles in Downtown
revitalization. The Action Plan focuses on three over-arching principles:
   Coordination
   Linkages
   Focus.

Coordination
The strength of any revitalization and development program is based upon effective
communication. Communication is facilitated by organizations that have clear mandates
and visions. Each organization creates a broad-based partnership among the public and
private sectors’ interests to provide leadership and allocate resources to maintain and
propel the goals and objectives. This is a crucial time for Downtown Picton. The
Downtown Revitalization Ad Hoc Committee has been working towards developing a
vision and goals for the Downtown, and the BIA wants to set a new course for their future.
The BIA wants to take a greater role in Downtown Picton’s future. Naturally, most goals
and objectives related to marketing and business retention developed by the Downtown
Revitalization Ad Hoc Committee will fall under the preview of the BIA. Issues related to
urban design and incentives will be part of the County’s purview. Open communication
among all organizations including the County will be paramount and will set the stage for
future endeavors.

Added to open communication, coordination is facilitated by an organization’s ability to
set an agenda and to entice stakeholders to participate. It will not be enough just to set
meetings. Every communication delivered should have objectives and anticipated
outcomes.

In addition, from the County’s perspective, coordination will be required to manage
growth. Open communication with stakeholders will be important in creating a plan for
development. For example, the Harbour Committee will need to conduct extensive
communication and coordination tactics to develop and sell their vision to property owners
and stakeholders.




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The County’s ability to offer incentives and penalties in order to boost cooperation may
also be considered. This comes about effectively through a “carrot and stick” approach
such as tax incentives for historic façade improvements (carrot) and peer pressure to
participate (stick). Ultimately, public private partnerships are the most effective means of
achieving results. Property owners that invest in the rehabilitation of their buildings
should be supported by the County through additional expenditure on high quality
streetscaping, lighting, and other amenities.

Linkages
The power of a Downtown is rooted in its diversity. Unless pedestrian traffic flows
between the various anchors and areas of influence, its diversity is compartmentalized and
stifled. For this reason, it is crucial to ensure that linkages be established not only from an
urban design perspective, but also with respect to economic development and marketing.
These linkages need to be enhanced and maintained on a continual basis. Actions that
promote a more cohesive feel should be encouraged:
    Urban design: gateway projects, linkages with Delhi Park, streetscape master plan,
    among many others
    Economic development: retail continuity, infill development, retail clustering that is
    mutually supportive, among many others
    Marketing: signage, banners, systematic symbols for parking, way finding programs,
    cross-promotion of businesses, arts, culture, and special events with a consistent
    branded focus, among many others.

Focus
Investment should start by growing blocks of strength and building them up to impressive
levels and minimizing development diffusion, rather than trying to do a little bit
everywhere, only working on the fringes or by trying to fix the big problems first. Focus as
it applies to the BIA entails starting with a small number of initiatives that are done very
well and then working up to bigger challenges. For the County, the focus should
concentrate on some key initiatives (e.g., urban design standards) and move forward on
others at a later period.




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6.1      Organizational Development


Strategy Goal: transition the Downtown Picton BIA into an effective organization such
that the organization moves from management position of Downtown’s interests to a
leadership position. The BIA must move to a position to challenge not only the public
sector but also the private sector (commercial businesses, developers, property owners) to
improve their operations. If new initiatives are to be successful, additional time and skill
must be focused on advocating, coordinating, and facilitating private and public sector
resources for maximum effect. For the County, the goal will be to assist the BIA to
transition through lending support of the Downtown Revitalization Ad Hoc Committee
(DTR) and to assist sourcing additional funds (e.g., hiring and Executive Director and
raising the BIA levy).

The following action points are required to move the organization forward. These are set
out in a timeframe of immediate, short-term, medium term, and long-term.

Summary Organizational Development Action Items
                BIA Responsibility                                 County Responsibility
 Immediate                                          Immediate
      Get organized – develop contact                   Assist the BIA in developing contact
      information                                       information
      Hire an Executive Director                        Downtown Revitalization Ad Hoc Committee
                                                        to assist in the hiring process and
                                                        transitioning BIA
 Immediate Work Lasting up to Two Years             Immediate Work Lasting up to Two Years
      Increase communication efforts                    Assist to find funds for BIA to implement
                                                        communication program
      Develop structure of BIA (Board, staff,           Downtown Revitalization Ad Hoc Committee
      committees, and funding)                          to assist with board-type work
                                                        Find funds to assist in overall Downtown
                                                        revitalization efforts




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1. GET ORGANIZED – CONTACT INFORMATION

Complete electronic database of stakeholders including merchants, property owners, and
other major players in Downtown Picton. This will be a central communication point for
all BIA activities. It is imperative that this is kept up-to-date and accurate in order to
foster good communication.

Information required includes:
   Business Name                                     Contact Fax
   Address Number                                    Secondary Contact Name
   Street Name                                       Secondary Contact Phone, email or fax
   NAICS Code                                        Property Owner
   NAICS Description                                 Contact Property Owner (address,
   Net Square Footage (street level,                 phone, email)
   basement, second level)                           Assessed Property Value
   Additional Descriptors                            BIA Levy
   Contact Name                                      Zoning Type
   Contact Phone Number                              Photograph of building.
   Contact email

This information can be obtained from lists supplied by UMC from the commercial audit,
business survey sheets, assessment roles from the County offices, and contacting each
business and property owner individually.

IMMEDIATE




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2. HIRE AN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR THE BIA

The new organization must have competent, energetic, and creative staff. Leading the
revitalization of a Downtown is not a nine-to-five job. Furthermore, in a small
organization, the Executive Director must possess both general organizational skills and
a certain level of technical skill and knowledge related to retail and commercial
development as well as marketing. The person must be able to work effectively with a
board, to set agendas that have actionable items and decisions attached to them, and
produce results. Volunteer BIA boards are usually ineffective in producing results. The
qualities that this person should possess include being a mature, high energy individual
who has a background in marketing and commercial leasing. In addition, they should
have enough presence that they are able to meet with property owners, leasing agents,
organizations, businesses, and County officials. He/she must also be able to see the
larger strategic issues, as well as effectively deal with the day-to-day activities, which will
include communications, marketing, and commercial retention activities.

This will require a budget allocation by the BIA over-and-above their current levy.
Ideally, this should be a full-time person but the BIA may have to work upwards from a
part-time basis to a full-time basis. Additional funds may be found from government
sources/grants for hiring for this position.

The BIA needs to invest in this new Executive Director. If they have great organizational
and facilitation skills, then the BIA Board may decide that additional training in real
estate would be helpful or vice versa.

WITHIN NEXT FIVE MONTHS.

The new Executive Director will be partly responsible for increasing the budget in order
to sustain his/her position (see next sections on funding). The Downtown Revitalization
Ad Hoc Committee may form part of the hiring committee and assist in transitioning this
person so that they are up and running to take on the BIA’s responsibilities.




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3. COMMIT TO COMMUNICATION


The new organization must have the capacity to do things. Acting as an advocate for
Downtown is very important, but not sufficient to accomplish the tasks at hand. At the
same time, it should be recognized that the Downtown Picton BIA will not have sufficient
resources to accomplish everything it sets out to do. It will have to establish partnerships
and alliances with other organizations, both public and private, to leverage its resources.

The Downtown Picton BIA’s primary responsibility is to improve the Downtown
business climate through a combination of management, maintenance, and marketing,
eventually becoming strong leaders. The BIA must include being:
   An Advocate – being an advocate for Downtown businesses is important but it is only
   part of the roles and responsibilities. The BIA must ensure that Downtown interests
   are represented and advanced in policy and resource allocation decisions at the
   County level (even Provincially and Federally through Ontario Business Improvement
   Association OBIA1). The agenda will be determined through open communication
   with the BIA’s members. This may include pushing forward the agenda of streetscape
   improvements, redevelopment incentive tools, parking accessibility, and park
   improvements among many other things. The organizational plan provides
   recommendations for improving communication with the objective of better
   informing, engaging, and mobilizing the Downtown community interests. Once the
   Executive Director is hired, this role should begin more immediately.
   A Marketer – Downtown Picton BIA needs to further solidify its role as Downtown
   Picton’s primary marketer, aiming to draw consumer markets to drive sales and
   visitation and attract investor markets to create new businesses, jobs, and investment.
   This will come about in the short to medium term.
   A Facilitator – in the long-term, Downtown Picton BIA can play a stronger role as
   facilitator or “deal maker” to encourage new types of marketable real estate
   investment. A more aggressive position on the real estate delivery system (e.g., ease of
   using local, provincial incentive programs, one-stop shopping at the City level for
   building permits, etc.).




1   Some of the goals at the Ontario level include a reduction in small commercial business tax rates
and the elimination of the tax breaks given to vacant commercial businesses (a vacant commercial
building is taxed at residential rates rather than commercial rates – approximately one-quarter).




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Communication Mechanisms
Communications programs are intended to better inform and educate Downtown
stakeholders on issues, challenges, and opportunities affecting Downtown. While the BIA
does participate in some of these different communication mediums, the lack of budget
and the lack of volunteers means that these initiatives are not carried through on a
consistent basis. To fulfill the BIA’s role as a Downtown advocate, promoter, and
facilitator of managing Downtown Picton’s growth, the following program initiatives are
recommended:
   Bi-weekly fax or e-mail: increasing the frequency of the communication will provide
   timely updates on Downtown issues and activities. The fax/e-mail is targeted to the
   primary Downtown merchants, organizations, and property owners
   Website: an improved Downtown Picton BIA Website is recommended to build
   internal communications and external marketing (see Downtown Boulder, Colorado;
   Downtown Port Perry, Ontario; Downtown Cobourg for examples).




                      Example of Web site from Downtown Boulder, Colorado




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 Networking sessions: the BIA can organize informal meet and greet sessions among
 the merchants, property owners, and other stakeholders. These can rotate to different
 businesses. It allows retailers to see other businesses and learn what they do. It creates
 greater synergy in Downtown. This can be co-sponsored by the Chamber of Tourism
 and Commerce and/or Economic Development (e.g., wine and cheese event).
 Quarterly newsletter: a quarterly newsletter is recommended to achieve several
 communication goals including providing in-depth information on pertinent activities
 and improvements, plus providing a visually stimulating medium to market
 Downtown and the Downtown Picton BIA. Newsletters would have a broader
 distribution beyond merchants and property owners to include all Downtown
 property owners, civic officials, and decision makers. This can be electronic and
 printed (if printed they can be distributed by block captains).




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 Downtown map and directory: maps and directories can fulfill several objectives
 including providing an inventory of Downtown businesses, promoting the diversity of
 Downtown, providing a useful resource to employees and visitors, and offering a
 direct visible benefit to merchants and property owners. Currently the BIA is updating
 the directory and is seeking advertising to defray costs. However, only those who
 advertise are listed. It is important for the BIA to produce a directory for all merchants
 and it should be developed based on the target markets that are going to use it (e.g.,
 local residents, boating and camping visitors, hotel/inn visitors, special event visitors,
 etc.). This means that important services such as restaurants, bars, and gift and leisure
 retailers are listed for the hotel visitors and grocery stores, specialty food stores, liquor
 stores, and hardware stores are listed for the boating and camping visitors. It may be
 ok to list businesses for different target markets. For example, Downtown Vancouver
 is set up to appeal to different target markets with ideas on things to do and places to
 shop and eat for each one (e.g., workers, after 5 activities, shopping, etc.). The BIA
 should start with a directory on the Web site and move to a printed format (the Web
 site is more easily updated).




                  Example of promotional material from Downtown Vancouver BIA




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  Quarterly issue forums: quarterly forums can feature speakers on a variety of issues
  ranging from updates on projects to panels on regional development issues, updates
  on the Harbour Committee, etc. In addition, well before the start of the tourist season
  each major attraction-based organization (e.g., Taste, Chamber of Tourism and
  Commerce, Regent Theatre, etc.) either together or separately should provide a
  presentation to the BIA. The presentation should include information on their
  schedule of events, vision for each event, and location, etc. so that the BIA and the
  members can be prepared for planning their own marketing campaigns. This
  information should be provided on the BIA’s website, and in newsletter format for
  those who cannot attend. Other ideas include having a slide show presentation of
  retail in other communities so that others can get ideas on how to merchandise their
  own stores better. As an aside, members should be encouraged to visit other retailers
  and towns to gain ideas on how to better merchandise themselves and the BIA.
  Examples include Downtown Dundas, Downtown Port Perry, Creemore Springs,
  Elora, Downtown Perth, and Downtown Petrolia.
  Member and property owner surveys: surveys should be undertaken of members and
  property owners to track overall satisfaction with Downtown Picton BIA programs
  plus general Downtown perceptions to establish benchmarks and monitor progress.

SOME INITIATIVES CAN BEGIN IMMEDIATELY; OTHERS WILL BE DEVELOPED
WITHIN 1.5 YEARS




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4. STRUCTURE OF DOWNTOWN PICTON BIA

 Board of Directors: limited to, or strong preference for, key decision makers. Links
 with other organizations through shared board members (no staff from other
 organizations on board). During the transition time for the Downtown Picton BIA to
 hire staff and develop these communication agenda items, it may seem appropriate
 that the Downtown Revitalization Ad Hoc Committee sit alongside the Downtown
 Picton BIA board. The committee should assist in the hiring process and development
 plan but they do not have voting powers unless they are members.
 Staff: Executive Director ideally full-time but may start part-time and work up to full-
 time. Contract out services such as flower basket watering, additional street cleaning,
 snow removal, window washing, etc. There are numerous job programs available to
 non-profit organizations to hire additional staff to assist with marketing (college or
 university marketing student), youth programs related to community service, high
 school community service regulations, that can assist with keeping the area clean and
 well maintained, etc. While some of the services provided by the BIA can be included
 in their levy, others such as window washing or snow removal can be based on a fee
 to the business. In addition, the BIA will need to develop a permanent office in
 Downtown (e.g., space may be rented for a nominal fee above a storefront such as
 above Books on the Bay). While the hiring of an Executive Director should be
 immediate, the other items may take one to two years to develop.
 Set up BIA Committees: eventually in the long-term the BIA should be set up in a
 committee format to effectively address the short-term and long-term planning. The
 staff person will be responsible for over-seeing most of this work. Each committee
 reports back to the board requesting either acceptance, rejection, or further study. The
 overall BIA Board should allow the committee work to develop recommendations
 thereby working more effectively and not wasting time. Major committees should be
 organized around:
  – Events and promotion and public relations
  – Urban design, parking, and transportation
  – Business retention and development.




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  Funding: the current budget of $28,000 plus additional monies reserved from previous
  years needs to be augmented. A rough estimation is that with a budget of $28,000, the
  approximately 250 businesses are paying $100 each. The reality is that higher assessed
  properties such as A&P pay more than smaller businesses. However, the average
  business should be willing to contribute $300 annually to the BIA. This is a small
  individual budget to pay for the proposed work that will be accomplished. This will
  result in the budget closer to $80,000 to $100,000. Additional sources of income can
  include:
  – Allowing other businesses such as B&Bs, which are not considered commercial
      businesses (they are taxed as residential) as well as outside businesses (e.g.,
      Canadian Tire), to donate money or sponsor events
  – Contacting other businesses such as garden centres to determine if they will
      donate nursery and landscape materials in exchange for advertising
  – The provincial government’s website for rural economic development contains a
      number of resources for additional funding sources and hiring additional staff:
      www.reddi.gov.on.ca or human resources
  – Contacting other businesses for partnership potential (money or services).

Comparable Markets
Funding will be key to achieving revitalization efforts. An examination of Downtown
management organizations in comparable communities provides a context for evaluating
Downtown Picton BIA’s organizational needs:

Community                    Population                          BIA Budget
Downtown Cobourg                19,000                             $120,000
Downtown Dundas                 30,000       $115,000 plus sponsorship and municipal support
Downtown Haliburton             2,500                              $31,500
Downtown Orillia                30,000              $225,000 plus $75,000 in sponsorship
Downtown Belleville             41,000                             $200,000
Downtown Bracebridge            15,000                             $100,000
Downtown Bowmanville            25,000                $138,000 plus municipal support




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From the County’s perspective additional funds for Downtown revitalization may be
found including:
   That proposed gas tax sharing be used to develop a free trolley bus for Downtown
   Picton that goes from the public boat launch up Bridge Street to Main Street, along
   Main Street to the LCBO, and then back along Main Street to the Yacht Club and then
   return to the public boat launch. This will serve goals of easing congestion in
   Downtown and provide a connection for visitors and elderly residents who find it
   difficult to get around Downtown. The trolley could seek additional operating
   revenue through advertising on the side of the trolley
   A hospitality tax to be introduced in the County with a certain percentage of the
   revenues generated from Picton hospitality businesses used to market Picton.

IMMEDIATE WORK THAT WILL TAKE ONE TO TWO YEARS TO PUT IN PLACE




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                                2
6.2       Business Retention


Strategy Goal: as development progresses in Downtown Picton, it will be important to
ensure that the existing businesses grow stronger. Retail retention is important because
the strength of the existing retailers and businesses will encourage prospective merchants
to locate in Downtown Picton.

Summary Business Retention Action Items
              BIA Responsibility                                County Responsibility
Immediate                                       Immediate
      Publish Downtown revitalization               Publish reports on Downtown, Economic
      report to members                             Development, Strategic Cultural Plan to
                                                    Downtown stakeholders
      Businesses support one another                Support Downtown businesses by visiting
                                                    Downtown businesses (be seen eating and
                                                    shopping Downtown)
Short Term                                      Short Term
      Develop a strategic marketing plan            Offer assistance as required (possible none)
      Review events to ensure they are              Communicate event logistics produced by the
      retailer friendly                             County (e.g., Taste) with Downtown businesses
                                                    so they can capitalize on them




2   The action items are specifically related to the commercial businesses in Downtown Picton. This
report recognizes that the County is conducting a Business Retention and Expansion study that
will contain a broader context of commercial and industrial businesses along with retail.




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            BIA Responsibility                                 County Responsibility
Short to Medium Term                          Short to Medium Term
   Work with Public Works and County               Review parking management system
   to ensure parking meets businesses
   goals and objectives
   Supplement additional cleaning and              Continue to keep Downtown area clean and well
   maintenance services not provided by            maintained
   the County
   BIA becomes a resource centre for               Assist in liaison efforts and bring in other
   businesses                                      partners (e.g., Community Futures Development
                                                   Corporation, banks, etc.)
Long Term                                     Long Term
   Support efforts to add more cultural            Take on projects that will add more cultural
   businesses in Downtown                          businesses in Downtown or support non-profits
                                                   working on viable projects
   Concentrated retail recruitment efforts         Support BIA’s specialized retail recruitment
   for select missing businesses                   efforts with additional information or liaison
                                                   service




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1. PUBLICIZE GOALS AND DIRECTION AND ENCOURAGE BUSINESSES TO
   DEVELOP STRATEGIC BUSINESS PLANS

First, the information developed in this report and other recent reports from Economic
Development (e.g., Economic Development Plan and Strategic Cultural Plan) should be
made public to the merchants and property owners. Existing businesses can begin to
refocus their own retailing/marketing efforts to take advantage of the target markets (local
residents, seasonal residents, restaurant and entertainment patrons, special events,
workers, and tourists).

Individual businesses need to re-evaluate their current merchandising, store presentation
and window display, layout, price-point restructuring, renovation and façade
improvement, expansion, or relocation efforts. The goal is to maximize the potential of the
current and future target markets and plan for traffic expansion. Businesses that do well in
Downtown Picton understand the need for a complete range of products and services for
both local and seasonal residents. A strategy focused solely on seasonal residents does not
appear to be successful in the long term but one focused solely on residents ignores key
areas of opportunity.

As the retention efforts become more successful, the retail climate in Downtown Picton will
become more competitive. Marginal businesses will face more competition. These
businesses must become as strong as the newer/improved businesses. One of Downtown
Picton’s unique attributes was helpful staff. This is a strong competitive advantage for
Downtown businesses compared to power centres and malls. If businesses believe they
offer great service, they should be willing to take the necessary action to sustain and
improve it. It is often better to improve an area of strength rather than tackling a big
weakness as a starting point.

While many businesses believe that they already offer great assistance to their customers, it
will be important to offer additional benefits. Businesses need to offer incentives to provide
quality service. This can range from offering discounts on merchandise to bringing in
company sales representatives to give demonstrations on how to use different products,
and listening to employee suggestions.




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In efforts for businesses to market themselves better, the best marketing device is word-of-
mouth. Personal recommendations are the most effective in terms of convincing target
markets to visit your business. In the hospitality industry, providing discounts and
incentives for front-line staff persons are effective. Restaurants and other businesses can
offer hospitality industry staff discounts at their business. The staff will be appreciative and
will recommend your business to visitors.

In addition, businesses may look at small changes to provide more services to visitors.
Businesses can become more pet friendly by providing dog water dishes on the sidewalk.
This will encourage dog owners to walk their dogs along Main Street and shop. This is one
distinguishing feature of the Beach community in Toronto that has benefited the
commercial businesses.

IMMEDIATE




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2. BIA BECOMES A RESOURCE CENTRE FOR BUSINESSES

Part of the BIA and the Executive Director’s duties are to help connect existing and new
businesses with low cost business resources in the County. This can include a resource
centre for requirements to start up a new business (e.g., welcome program, permits
required, where to go for signage companies, insurance companies, security systems,
architectural services, etc., parking requirements, by-laws affecting businesses, liaison with
banks, Community Futures Development Corporation, and Economic Development).

In addition, there are numerous resources from motivational speakers, books,
videos/DVDs, and cassettes that address areas of retail operations (e.g., merchandising,
window displays, how to develop an Internet site, multi-channel retailing, safety). These
can be part of the BIA’s office and available for members to use.

The BIA can assist by supporting cross-promotional efforts (e.g., a full Downtown Picton
business directory, dining guide to Picton) and rewarding and helping businesses (by
providing marketing support) who want to develop joint marketing promotions such as
Regent Theatre, hotels/B&Bs, businesses, and eating and drinking places. An example
would be a package that includes dinner, theatre, and 10% off store purchase. Encourage
businesses to use the word Downtown Picton in their own advertising to help broaden the
brand recognition within the County.

Planning for business transition. If a business owner plans to sell, close, or retire, it is
important to find this out as soon as possible. Services offered by the BIA could include the
following:
   Serving as a liaison between business owners and potential buyers
   Identifying potential buyers and providing information
   Helping to prepare marketing materials.

Another benefit of having a stronger BIA in Downtown Picton is that the distinct cultural
identity will be better preserved. As new businesses move into Downtown Picton, there is
the threat that these businesses do not completely understand the unique attributes of
Picton’s and the County’s culture. Having a stronger BIA can function as a socialization
process whereby new businesses can understand Picton’s heritage system and help to
preserve what makes them different.




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In the long-term, once the BIA is fully functioning, they can also help businesses identify
and develop business opportunities for growth and expansion. Programs include how to
attract more customers through marketing, building a repeat customer base, how to
encourage customers to spend more, adding new product lines to capture a wider market
range, expanding or relocating within Downtown Picton, opening a complementary
business in Downtown Picton, and helping to create the critical mass your business desires

MEDIUM TERM – MANY PROGRAMS WILL REQUIRE TIME BEFORE THE BIA CAN
ASSUME THESE RESPONSIBILITIES.




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3. BUSINESSES MUTUALLY SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER

Providing businesses with networking opportunities by holding meetings at different
locations throughout Downtown Picton gives local businesses the opportunity to learn
about each other’s businesses.

Downtown Picton businesses and property owners need to support one another’s
businesses by being seen shopping and conducting business on a regular basis in
Downtown. Becoming actively involved provides opportunities for visual monitoring,
keeping communication channels open, and building relationships that are essential. It
creates more synergy between businesses. The result is that customers at one business will
be encouraged to visit other businesses at the staff’s/owner’s suggestion.

In addition, many businesses have concerns about transitional businesses selling from the
Fairgrounds. The County’s Municipal Act will have to be changed to limit the number of
times a business can rent space to sell competitive items. The County may seek additional
advice on how to word this statement.

IMMEDIATE




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4. A STRATEGIC ROLE FOR MARKETING

Marketing should take on a more focused role – one that builds the brand image of
Downtown Picton and directly helps retailers to build sales and/or to locate in the area.
This is an important role for the BIA and members will see the most value in these
initiatives. All marketing efforts should be justified in terms of a return on investment so
that marketing can be paid off in relation to Downtown Picton’s strategic direction.

Marketing should have a broad mandate to build positive programs and images (e.g.,
safety, parking, easy access, cleanliness, enjoyable shopping, etc.): the idea of branding
Downtown Picton as a real Downtown and cultural place should be promoted. Marketing
should be promoted to separate target markets (e.g., home related products, camping
visitors, wine country visitors, etc.) with a consistent theme and feel.

SHORT TERM AND SUSTAINED




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5. MAKE ATTRACTIONS AND EVENTS RETAILER-FRIENDLY

Special events in Picton and the County are a source of success. They are well-planned and
executed.

The goals of the BIA with respect to special events are to:
  Leverage off the success of the special events that are drawing visitors to the County
  and Picton so that when they arrive at Picton’s doorstep they are greeted with quality
  businesses in a pleasant and easy-to-use environment
  Increase sales for the participating merchants
  Help drive investor interest in the area.

Special events should focus on specific high-priority shopper segments and merchandise
buying seasons, with emphasis on building shopper traffic. Targeting special events to the
Downtown Picton’s target markets will ensure that when people come for a performance or
event, they will stay longer and shop more. The BIA should review both produced and
sponsored special events to ensure that they help to increase sales for the BIA businesses.
In effect the BIA will help to create the linkage from the events to the businesses.

SHORT TERM




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6. PARKING MANAGEMENT

The importance of the need for accessible parking in any retail/commercial environment is
undeniable. However, parking is also important from an investment point of view.
Retailers and developers will not only analyze the parking supply nearby, but also the
parking turnover. According to retail studies, a parking space can be worth the equivalent
of $40,000 per year to retailers. Currently Downtown Picton has a system that encourages
turnover of spaces along Main Street by having metered parking as well as offering free
parking on Mary Street and Market Lane. Visitors planning for a longer visit can use the
side street parking lots (e.g., Mary Street and Market Lane). Having enforced parking
ensures that Downtown employees do not misuse the Main Street parking spots.

In addition, it is difficult as a visitor to determine where there is free parking along Market
Lane and where it is employee/private parking.

With any parking program, there are three major elements:
  Cost
  Accessibility
  Education.

The County’s parking policy should continue to encourage long-term parking on the free
lots through increased marketing and education (e.g., signage indicating that it is free and
where it is). If the County determines that parking should be free along Main Street, then
there will need to be continual enforcement of a two hour maximum. This can be achieved
through chalking tires. The County must assess the benefits of providing free parking
against the costs of lost revenues only from coins at the parking meters; there will continue
to be revenue from parking enforcement.

In addition, it is important that Public Works works cooperatively with the BIA to ensure
that parking is not removed along Main Street without justification. As stated, each spot is
worth significant sales volume to the local businesses.

SHORT TO MEDIUM TERM




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7. CLEAN AND WELL-MAINTAINED

Additional efforts need to be taken to ensure that Downtown Picton remains clean and well
maintained throughout the year. This includes the recognition that the Downtown is in a
snowbelt region and that pedestrian access is important. The County provides regular
cleaning service; however, the BIA through additional cleaning and snow removal services
can augment this. A full program can include:
   Marketing to encourage people to take care of Picton by not littering
   Regular garbage pickup at hours when it will not disrupt commercial businesses
   Attractive trash receptacles kept in good working order
   Pressure washing the streets in the summer. A pressure washer can be purchased by the
   BIA or shared by Bloomfield and Downtown Picton BIAs. As stated, additional services
   can be supplied by the BIA with contracted help. This can include snow removal and
   window washing, but businesses would pay a fee for this service.

SHORT TO MEDIUM TERM




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8. DEVELOP COMPLEMENTARY ARTS AND CULTURE BUSINESSES

Prince Edward County is gaining a stronger reputation for art and culture. The Arts
Festival is an important event. There are numerous artists throughout the County but the
number of art galleries in Picton is relatively small. One factor is that the rent is too high to
warrant an art gallery. One alternative is for the Economic Development department
and/or an arts organization to assist in developing an artist co-operative. Artists can sell
their products in a co-operative setting in Downtown Picton. This will have to include
smaller items as well as larger ones.

Other possibilities for creating a greater arts and culture atmosphere include:
  Developing an artist school (similar to Dundas Valley School of Art in Dundas, Ontario).
  This can be for adults and children
  Developing an artist related supplies store
  Supporting the Strategic Cultural Plan’s recommendation to devote a certain percentage
  of development fees for public art. Also, ensure that the art reinforces themes related to
  Picton including Harbour/water, Loyalist traditions, natural landscape, etc.

It may also be a combination of an arts co-operative and artist school run as a non-profit
organization. Lincoln Road in Miami Beach is a great example of an artist community that
has been working proactively over the years to develop an identifiable niche and foster an
arts community. The South Florida Arts Center has taken on the role of developer,
acquiring up to four buildings to house art space for local artists. In the development role
and as owners of the buildings, the South Florida Arts Center is able to secure long-term
space for artists to hone their skills without the risk of being evicted. In return, these artists
agree to work on their art in view of the public as well as staff a main floor gallery that
enlivens the street.

Another successful example is the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia. The older
factory was converted into a community arts centre through the efforts of local arts
organizations and the City. There are 84 working studios, eight group studies, six separate
galleries, an art supply store, and several multi-purpose rooms that can be rented for
private and community events. The facility is almost self-supporting and is funded
through studio rental income, events, and programs. The city provides property tax
incentives and some program funding. The facility helped spur area investment and
development in the neighbourhood.




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If the Shire Hall offices are consolidated into one building at their present location, some of
the buildings, such as the current Community Services building, could be transformed into
an artist co-operative. Other reports have recommended that The Armoury be developed
into a cultural centre.

THREE TO FIVE YEARS THROUGH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND/OR ARTS
ORGANIZATIONS




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9. CONCERTED RETAIL RECRUITMENT EFFORTS

By building retailer pressure to locate in Downtown Picton, better businesses will succeed,
property owners and developers can improve their space to fill demand, and retail critical
mass and momentum will grow.

A full recruitment push by Downtown Picton BIA is beyond their scope of activities and
considered a very low priority item. However in the long term, the BIA should be prepared
to act as a liaison service providing a more centralized source of information when
required. They will need up-to-date records on building ownership, property taxes, and
current tenants in order to play this facilitation role.

Leads that come to the County, Community Futures Development Corporation, and the
Chamber of Tourism and Commerce should be referred to Downtown Picton BIA as a
source of information. As well, the brokerage community should work with the BIA to help
determine joint marketing sales pitches and to keep both parties informed on changes (e.g.,
vacancy, leasing activity, rental rates). This needs to be in accordance with the Province’s
privacy policy.

Downtown Picton BIA will not be responsible for “signing up the retailer.” They will be
active in setting the stage, potentially locating and attracting some prospects, and putting
the developers/property owners in contact with the retailer. Then the property owner (and
real estate brokers and lawyers) will frame the deal and sign it.

As an example, Downtown Dundas BIA, has a zero vacancy rate. However, they realized
that they were missing a quality butcher. The BIA team assembled all the data and targeted
Cumbrae’s Meats in Downtown Toronto. The team convinced the retailer that opening a
store in Downtown Dundas would be extremely beneficial. Downtown Picton BIA can do
a similar tactic. Many businesses have indicated that a quality butcher would be welcome
in Downtown Picton. They need to narrow a list down to a few prospects and approach
them with the correct facts and a store location for them.

Property owners in Downtown Picton should be prepared to offer incentives to help attract
quality tenants. Possible program incentives include:
   Rent breaks, equal or better than the competition (e.g., one to three months’ free rent, or
   an increasing rent structure that is below market rate in the first few years of operation,
   gradually increasing to market rate, and then it could possibly be increased above
   market rate).




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Business retention includes maintaining the high level of convenience goods and services
including:
   Grocery retail
   Drug stores and pharmacies
   Alcohol stores
   Convenience stores
   Hardware stores
   Cafés and family service restaurants
   Personal services such as beauty salons, travel agents, dry cleaners, movie rentals, gyms
   Banks and financial institutions
   Professional services such as medical offices, dentists, lawyers, etc.

In addition, it includes maintaining and enhancing the quality and quantity of destination
businesses and perhaps adding:
   Hand made unique items
   Book stores
   Antique stores
   Leisure retailers such as hobby and gift stores (including items that cannot be found
   elsewhere in larger centres)
   Home furnishings and electronics stores including gardening and patio furniture
   Fine dining
   Specialty food stores such as bakeries, butchers, etc.
   Specialized services such as health spa
   Sporting goods stores that reflect Picton’s advantages including fishing, boating, scuba
   diving, bike rentals3, etc.

THREE TO FIVE YEARS ONCE THE BIA IS IN A LEADERSHIP ROLE ON AN AS
NEEDED BASIS (MAYBE NEVER)




3   Bike rental businesses may need assistance from the BIA to help find an insurance company




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6.3    Urban Design Framework


Strategic Goal
The Physical environment can be subdivided into two main areas: these include public
lands and private properties. Each area should reinforce the other and must be addressed
jointly. An updated Secondary Plan or Detailed Urban Design Study will help guide the
coordinated development and improvement of public and private lands.

The Public Realm
The Public Realm comprises elements of the environment accessible to the public and
controlled by governments, including:
   Streets and streetscape elements (e.g., roadway, sidewalks, lighting, street furniture)
   Open and civic spaces (e.g., parks, parkettes).

The Private Realm
The Private Realm describes private property and is shaped by the decisions of each
property owner, with influence from the County (mostly in the case of new construction
and major renovations).

From an urban design point of view, elements visible from the Public Realm or elements
that directly affect the Public Realm are most relevant. This includes:
   Building height, massing, and general appearance as seen from the Public Realm
   Building relationship to neighbouring buildings, streets, and open spaces
   Access from adjacent streets and open space.




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Rationale
The diagram below shows how changes and improvements to the physical environment
can help improve the vibrancy and vitality of the Downtown. The influence of the
planning and regulatory framework is demonstrated as well.




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Summary Urban Design Action Items
    BIA Responsibility            County and Street Smarts                Property Owners
                                          Responsibility
 Immediate                      Immediate                          Immediate
    Assist to determine            Repair existing brick
    areas of high priority         treatment
    for repairing brick
    treatment
                                   Prepare tree inventory
 Immediate – Part of            Immediate – Part of Urban          Immediate – Part of Urban
 Urban Design Study             Design Study                       Design Study
    Assist in discussions          Investigate and adopt              Support enhanced
    on street furniture            palette of street furniture        streetscape with additional
    Determine if                                                      private sector funds
    additional funds from                                             potentially through the BIA
    property owners are
    required
    Assist in discussions          Prepare streetscape master
    on streetscape master          plan
    plan
    Assist in discussion           Improve traffic safety
    on improving traffic           through study
    safety
 Short Term – When              Short Term – When                  Short Term – When
 Opportunities Present          Opportunities Present              Opportunities Present
 Themselves                     Themselves                         Themselves
    Assist in discussions          Prepared cycling master
    as needed on cycling           plan
    master plan
    Advocate for business          Encourage civic spaces and         Ensure interests concerning
    and property owners            patios                             patios are relayed through
    regarding patios                                                  BIA




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    BIA Responsibility          County and Street Smarts                Property Owners
                                      Responsibility
 Plan for 2006                Plan for 2006 Implementation       Plan for 2006 Implementation
 Implementation
    Assist as required in        Make parkland for people
    planning (e.g., where        friendly
    to put directional
    signage) for parks
    Assist in marketing          Creation of a market               Ensure interests regarding
    and provide                                                     competition of market
    adjudication services                                           vendors are heard through
    for potential vendors                                           the BIA
    Create a market team
 Over next 5 years part of    Over next 5 years part of          Over next 5 years part of
 Urban Design study and       Urban Design study and             Urban Design study and
 Ongoing                      Ongoing                            Ongoing
    Assist as required on        Improve parking lots               Improve private parking
    improving parking                                               lots
    lots
    Assist as required on        Improve walkways                   Improve building side
    improving walkways                                              along walkways
    Assist as required on        Begin relationship with            Work cooperatively with
    connecting Downtown          Harbour                            Harbour Committee
    to the Harbour
    Assist as required to        Protect historic buildings –       Work cooperatively using
    help design façade           review façade                      incentives
    improvement program          improvement and/or
                                 historic preservation area
    Assist as required to        Ensure quality infill              Work cooperatively
    ensure quality infill
    Assist as required on        Signage control                    Work cooperatively
    signage control
    Assist as required on        Parking design
    parking design




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Public Realm Action Items
The Public Realm is primarily the responsibility of the County and all changes must be
approved by the latter. However, funding can be obtained by strategically grouping
initiatives together. Also, improvements to the Public Realm are often driven by BIAs
with a combination of funds from their own capital budget, additional contributions by
members, local fundraising, and senior government assistance. Punctual funding is also
available from the federal and provincial governments (e.g., gas tax sharing and other
agencies such as the Community Futures Development Corporation).

It is crucial that the opportunities discussed below be kept alive and invoked with
relevant projects, such as the construction of new County Offices. Also, many
opportunities should be coordinated within a Detailed Urban Design Study.

1. REPAIR EXISTING BRICK TREATMENT

Existing brick treatment is damaged in certain places and should be
repaired to prevent tripping and ensure a well-maintained appearance.
However, large-scale repairs should be delayed until a Detailed Urban
Design Study is developed for the entire Main Street.

IMMEDIATE

Brick banding installed in the 1980s is showing signs of wear and should be repaired
where necessary.


2. PREPARE A TREE INVENTORY

Trees create a dramatically different atmosphere on a street
by shading the sidewalk and lowering the temperature in the
summer, creating a more intimate atmosphere by framing the
street and providing visual relief by introducing a natural
element in the urban landscape. All trees have limited life
expectancies, some surprisingly short. A tree inventory
should be prepared to identify existing species and
recommend a comprehensive palette and a long-term
replacement schedule.
Picton’s trees complement heritage building and help create an attractive streetscape.


ONE TO FIVE YEARS




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3. INVESTIGATE AND ADOPT A PALETTE OF STREET FURNITURE

Downtown Picton’s current street furniture,
particularly the garbage cans, does not contribute
to an upscale or heritage-friendly image.
Appropriate locations for benches and
trash/recycling cans and select models that are
appropriate for the Main Street should be
identified. Current trash cans should be removed.
Street furniture provides great fundraising
opportunities, particularly from service clubs,
                                                         A palette of discreet and sturdy street furnishings
businesses, and individuals.
                                                            made of wood and metal should be selected.

IMMEDIATE (OR CAN BE PART OF A STREETSCAPE MASTER PLAN OR DETAILED
URBAN DESIGN STUDY)

4. PREPARE A STREETSCAPE MASTER PLAN

In addition to improvements to previous streetscape enhancements, a Main Street
Streetscape Master Plan should be considered to expand enhancements to areas of Main
Street that never received them. Adding continuity to the Public Realm west of Walton
Street would greatly contribute to ‘knitting’ the Convenience District with the Main Street
District. The streetscape elements need to take into consideration the Loyalist heritage
and the Harbour as key factors when designing certain elements. They will help to re-
enforce the brand elements of Downtown Picton’s distinctive culture.

Downtown Picton should have a design and environmental sensibility that goes beyond
historic preservation. The community should work towards encouraging substantial
upgrading of the public sector improvements. As the idea gathers momentum (e.g., 1% of
public works must be put towards public art – as mentioned in the County’s Strategic
Cultural Plan), Picton’s future as a true, unique experience will be ensured. The local
artist community could play important roles in this. Often the improvements do not have
to be large. Downtown Vancouver has simple concrete sidewalks but underneath each
tree there are imprints of leaves pressed into the concrete providing a unique visual
experience. Other examples include unique way-finding signage in Victoria that make
use of a hydro pole and do not clutter the sidewalks.




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              Unique maps of Downtown Victoria, which make use of existing electrical boxes


A plan could be expected to achieve the
following:
   Extend rows of trees to the west and on
   Bridge Street
   Reduce Main Street to two lanes and allow
   on-street parking west of Walton Street
   Expand sidewalk treatment to the entire
   Main Street and consider textured
   crosswalks to clearly signal to motorists
   that pedestrians have the right of way.4
   Expand Main Street lighting to the west
   and to Bridge Street.
   Investigate and adopt a Palette of Street
   Furniture (as described above).
   Expand or adopt a Signage By-Law
   Maintain a pedestrian friendly atmosphere
   with plantings close to the ground.

Because of Picton’s large senior population,
                                                      Alexandria, VA opted for all-brick sidewalks and
accessibility aspects should be incorporated in
                                                                     planted tree pits.
the streetscape plan. This entails honest, full-
study work to ensure that the needs are addressed and can include other issues beyond
mobility to issues regarding people with visual and hearing problems. The County will
have to work with activist groups to ensure that their exact concerns are understood.
Issues can include specialized transit, availability of well-lit and easily accessible disabled

4   Consideration of sidewalk material must take into consideration snow removal in the winter as
well as good traction when it rains or it is wet.




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parking, with designated routes with wide
sidewalks, curb cuts, and smooth surfaces to
major destinations. In addition, other
elements could include textured markings
on sidewalks such as the example from
Hamilton, audible traffic signals, automatic
door openers, and flat surface entrances.

Few communities are perfect in every
regard to accessibility and it is not possible
to do everything at once. Over time and as
new development occurs accessibility
aspects need to be included in the overall
design. This includes not just the streetscape
but includes building design as well.

What can make a difference is if an advocate
is invited to comment on plans for the
public realm and if the County can have
disability specialists to review applications.           Hamilton example of textured sidewalk to
                                                             signal that there is an intersection
IMMEDIATE – ONE YEAR (OR WITH DETAILED URBAN DESIGN STUDY) THE
ACCESSIBILTY ASPECTS MAY BE A SEPARATE STUDY




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5. PREPARE A CYCLING MASTER PLAN

Prince Edward County is a popular destination for cyclists due to the flat terrain that
dominates the landscape. During the Team’s consultation, Main Street Picton was
identified as a dangerous bottleneck for cycling in the County that should be improved,
both to attract visitors and encourage cycling among residents. A strategy for a cycling-
friendly Downtown should be elaborated with:
    Identification of safe and scenic routes through the centre, not necessarily through
    Main Street
    Installation of signage for cyclists
    Identification of appropriate locations for bicycle storage
    Selection of an appropriate model of bike stand – potentially in
    collaboration with local artists and potentially with the
    opportunity for discreet sponsorship.

The preparation of a Cycling Master Plan can begin as a
community-driven effort by cycling enthusiasts with support from
the BIA and the County.

DISCUSSIONS CAN START IMMMEDIATELY,
IMPROVEMENTS SHOULD BE COORDINATED WITH
DETAILED URBAN DESIGN STUDY                                                This bike ring was created for
                                                                         Montréal’s Quartier International

6. ENCOURAGE CIVIC SPACES AND PATIOS

Picton’s Main Street was designed with a continuous streetwall, a generally positive
aspect for walkability as discussed previously but a characteristic that leaves little visual
and physical relief for the enjoyment of the urban environment. As Picton evolves,
buildings are redeveloped, thus providing for opportunities to create new civic spaces
where buildings once stood, or on new building sites as shown in the following
examples:
                                          i. Temporary improvements should be made to
                                              vacant lots with planters, plant sales by local
                                              nurseries, temporary outdoor exhibits or
                                              murals by local artists, markets (food, flea,
                                              antiques, and Christmas trees), and special
                                              events (e.g., mini-concerts).

                                                IMMEDIATE
   This parkette in Belleville caps a parking
    lot to improve the Main Street frontage



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ii. When the new County Offices are built, the
    new building or addition should contribute to
    defining a significant civic space within the
    Town. If Shire Hall continues to perform an
    important civic role, the opportunity exists to
    create such a civic space at the Top-of-the-
    Hill, on the northeast corner of Main and
    Bridge Streets, the eastern gateway to Main
    Street. An attractive civic space and terrace

   with views of the Harbour can be created,
                                                            This civic space in Bethesda, MD attracts
   thus satisfying many of the County’s and
                                                                     crowds on sunny days

   Downtown Picton’s goals.

UPON SITE SELECTION




                                                           Although much larger, Dufferin Terrace
                                                           in Quebec City is an example of animated
                                                              public space with views of the rive


                                              iii. If corner properties are redeveloped,
                                                   landscaping should be used to mark the
                                                   corner as was done on the corner of Main
                                                   and Chapel Streets.

                                              AS OPPORTUNITIES ARISE



 This new development created an attractive corner
  with substantial plantings and outdoor seating.




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iv. Patios and decks animate the street and allow businesses to
    expand during the summer. Applications for patios and
    other outdoor merchandising space (roof-top patios and
    alley-way patios) should be dealt with promptly and ensure
    that they do not result in additional parking requirements5.

      The County should allow businesses to merchandise on the
      sidewalk within reasonable limits and with appropriate
      products (must be attractive displays).

IMMEDIATE                                                                  Alley-ways can be transformed into eating
                                                                                            spaces.

7. MAKE PARKLAND PEOPLE-FRIENDLY

The close proximity of green space to Picton’s Main Street is a unique asset that needs to
be more fully exploited.

     i. Signage to Delhi Park and Benson Park from Main Street should be installed, and
        Main Street-type lighting should be installed on key streets leading to the parks,
        including Bowery, Elizabeth, and Ross Streets.

PLAN FOR 2006 IMPLEMENTATION

    ii. The arrival at Delhi Park from Elizabeth Street (currently a parking lot) should be
        improved by screening the parking lot and providing a clear pedestrian route
        through the facility. The entrance to the park should be clear and welcoming to
        pedestrians. A terraced staircase leading to the park from the key side streets
        should be installed.

PLAN FOR 2006 IMPLEMENTATION




5   Businesses will probably be unable to get liquor licences for alley-way patios.




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 iii. A family-friendly area should be created within Delhi Park with gardens, a picnic
      area, a gazebo capable of accommodating concerts, and public washrooms. A
      youth-friendly space should be created that allows teenagers to enjoy the park.

OVER NEXT FIVE YEARS AND CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENTS

 iv. Marsh Creek should be cleaned of refuse and debris and fully naturalized.

IMMEDIATE

(The potential exists to use mandatory volunteering hours in high school.)

 v. The chain link fence should be removed around Benson Park.

PLAN FOR 2006 IMPLEMENTATION – COORDINATE WITH IMPROVEMENTS TO
PARKING AREA

8. IMPROVE TRAFFIC SAFETY AT THE TOP-OF-THE-HILL

The current situation at the Top-of-the-Hill creates a dangerous and unfriendly situation
for visiting motorists and pedestrians. Possible improvements include directional
signage, a traffic light at Bridge Street and Union Street, and flashing lights where
motorists are expected to stop.

BEGIN ANALYSIS IMMEDIATELY – CAN BE ADDRESSED IN DETAILED URBAN
DESIGN GUIDELINES STUDY OR TRANSPORTATION STUDY

9. CONSIDER THE CREATION OF A MARKET SQUARE BEHIND MAIN STREET

A farmers’ or public market (food and crafts) would be a welcome addition to
Downtown Picton. Efforts to develop a market at The Armoury site have been met with
retailer opposition despite the market’s relatively successful operation. A market can help
liven spaces and provide additional customers to Downtown Picton. The Armoury
location and Market Lane are two very good locations for the market. The market should
have an adjudicating panel to review the items sold at the market to ensure that they do
not conflict with current retailers. Also, once the market is running, a small fee may be
levied to provide marketing and promotion in the newspaper and for possible clean-up
activities.




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If the market were to develop along Market Lane,
it would also work with Benson Park. The park
would provide a green amenity to market visitors;
for example, pausing to sample a drink or food
item purchased at the Market.

PLAN FOR 2006 IMPLEMENTATION –
COORDINATE WITH IMPROVEMENTS TO
BENSON PARK/DETAILED URBAN DESIGN
                                                           Markets are popular attractions for visitors and
GUIDELINES STUDY
                                                                           residents alike

10. CONSIDER A FAÇADE IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM FOR THE REAR OF
    BUILDINGS

Façade improvement programs usually target Main
Streets. In this case, however, the first contact with
Picton for visitors can be the rear of Main Street
buildings. Therefore, quality finishes and design
should be encouraged for new buildings and
renovations.

PLAN FOR 2006 IMPLEMENTATION –
COORDINATE WITH IMPROVEMENTS TO
PARKING AREA (however, full implementation
                                                            The rear of buildings should be improved over
will take place over the long term)/DETAILED
                                                                                 time
URBAN DESIGN GUIDELINES STUDY

11. TREAT PARKING LOTS AS THE FIRST POINT OF CONTACT WITH VISITORS

Visitors like clean, clear, and well-lit parking facilities. The parking lot along Market Lane
and the lot at Mary Street, among others, should be improved with trees, islands, paving,
and lighting.

OVER NEXT FIVE YEARS/DETAILED URBAN DESIGN GUIDELINES STUDY




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12. IMPROVE WALKWAYS

Walkways are a unique Picton asset, but can be somewhat unwelcoming, particularly
after dusk. Walkways off Main Street should be improved with lighting affixed to the
sides of buildings, planters, and interpretive plaques. Blank façades are ideal for large-
scale photographs and interpretive materials, as well as murals.




 It is important to keep the alleyways attractive. The picture on the left is from the Back Alley District in
  Cincinnati’s art district, and the picture on the right is an alleyway in Downtown Spokane, which has
             been enhanced with painted out detailings, flower baskets, and period lighting.


OVER NEXT FIVE YEARS/DETAILED URBAN DESIGN GUIDELINES STUDY




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13. CREATE A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE HARBOUR

The Harbour is another significant community resource. However, a number of
recommendations made in the 1989 Harbour Plan remain unimplemented. In anticipation
of the 2009 devolution of Harbour facilities by the Ministry of Natural Resources, the
Plan should be updated with the following objectives:
    Create opportunities to improve public access
    Preserve views to the water and appropriate building scale at the Harbour
    Improve pedestrian experience on Bridge Street:
    – Make the Top-of-the-Hill clearer for pedestrians
    – Plant street trees
    – Install pedestrian-scaled lighting
    – Allow on-street parking
    – Widen sidewalks
    – Apply the same paving treatment as on Main Street
    – Add additional events near the Harbour including Dragon Boat Races, Fireworks,
       Rowing Regattas, etc.

OVER NEXT FIVE YEARS (WITH DETAILED URBAN DESIGN GUIDELINES STUDY)
OR AS SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT OCCURS ON THE HARBOUR

Other growth management tools that the County may further examine to determine their
effectiveness for Picton include the following:
   Natural growth boundaries – limit growth outside of Picton thereby keeping
   development within the growth boundary.
   Have a Downtown first principle – businesses must consider locating in Downtown
   Picton first.
   It is better for Picton to have large big box retailers close to Downtown than elsewhere
   in the County. There will be continual development pressure for larger stores.
   Downtown Picton can only accommodate a certain size of building. The bigger
   concern is not big box development but smaller retailers locating on the fringes.
   Outside of the Downtown, the County should allow a certain type of big box
   development (very large retailers) but disallow any smaller development in order to
   keep Downtown strong. An example would be Canadian Tire. They cannot locate in
   Downtown and should be allowed to enlarge their space but smaller retailers such as
   Shoppers Drug Mart or LCBO should not be allowed to develop on the fringes but be
   required to locate or remain in the Downtown.
   Expand Picton Ward to include new development on fringes and bring them under
   the same controls as Picton.




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Private Realm Action Items
The following recommendations should be developed further through Urban Design
Guidelines potentially within a Secondary Plan (see discussion below). However, these
recommendations can be used immediately as principles in the review of development
applications, the preparation of the new consolidated zoning by-law, and in discussions
among the County, property owners, developers, and the BIA.

14. PROTECT HISTORIC BUILDINGS

Historic buildings can only be protected if they are
properly identified and catalogued. Therefore, all
buildings and building features (e.g., murals) worthy of
protection should be identified and duly catalogued. In
addition, detailed heritage guidelines can assist existing
and new owners in conducting appropriate renovations
and the County in its review of development
applications.

The County must decide the extent to which they want
to enhance and protect the heritage achitecture. Many
Ontario communities have developed Historic
Preservation Areas as part of the Ontario Heritage Act
                                                                   Historic elements are worthy of
and enacted incentives to effect desired change. This
                                                                         protection as well
type of system will require commitment and a resources
person by the County to oversee this progress.




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15. ENSURE QUALITY INFILL

Attractive and appropriate development and redevelopment are key to the vitality and
attractiveness of Picton’s centre. Key criteria include:
   Height and massing that correspond to that of
   neighbouring buildings. This means that new
   buildings should not be significantly higher than
   neighbouring buildings and respect the rhythm of
   entrances and vertical elements in the façade. Just
   as importantly, one-storey buildings should be
   avoided on Main Street as they fail to fulfill the
   potential of an important central location.
   Setbacks – in general, new buildings or additions
   should respect the streetscape. However, occasional This new Hamilton building fits well
   breaks in the streetwall can bring relief to pedestrians with adjacent buildings.
   and provide opportunities to create civic spaces or patios.
   In addition, original deep setbacks should be respected and maintained.
   Materials – new buildings and additions could be inspired by existing buildings in
   their use of finishes and materials to provide continuity to the Downtown as a distinct
   place. In Picton, red brick and stone have been used primarily in the construction of
   the Town’s most respected buildings and should continue to be used. Glass and steel
   can be used as accent elements, but materials that do not provide quality or
   permanence like vinyl or aluminum siding or limit transparency like mirrored glass
   should be avoided.
   Commercial uses on the ground floor – a key factor in the success of a retail Main
   Street is continuity at the ground level. New buildings should enhance the rhythm of
   entrances and ensure that ground floors feature large display windows. Residential or
   office uses with no public access should be avoided. The existing practice of providing
   fabric awnings should be continued.
   Blank façades – large blank façades, particularly seen from Main Streets, should be
   avoided.
   Treatment of view termini – buildings at a view terminus (a T-intersection) should be
   aligned with the perpendicular street and feature an entrance and/or landmark
   feature to terminate the view corridor.




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   Parking and servicing access – all attempts should be made to provide parking and
   servicing access at the rear of buildings. Parking should never be provided in front of
   a building with Main Street frontage.
   Drive-throughs – a no drive-through zone should be created on Main Street to avoid
   the nuisances associated with these facilities, including the encouragement to drive,
   stacking issues onto the roadway, and potential conflicts with pedestrians.

16. SIGNAGE

High-quality signage is a key ingredient in the creation of an attractive Main Street, and
Picton has so far been very fortunate to have many excellent examples of high-quality
signage. However, the potential generalization of corporate and inexpensive-looking
signage can greatly diminish the visual appeal of the Street. In general, signage should be
appropriate and supportive of the vision for Main Street with:
   Wood and metal (e.g., wrought iron, bronze, copper) instead of plastic
   Front lighting
   Size balanced with the building façade and scale
   Low height (pylon signage only).

Mobile signage other than sandwich boards should not be allowed on Main Street as it is
inconsistent with the ‘Small Town Main Street’ image. In addition, billboards such as
those adjacent to The Armoury should not be allowed in Downtown Picton.




               There are many positive examples of signage abound on the Main Street.




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    Corporate signage is generally less attractive and exists primarily in the Convenience District.


17. PARKING DESIGN

  Private parking lots with frontage onto public streets should be screened with low
  trees and shrubs to maintain a safe environment.
  Parking lots should be lit with pedestrian-scaled lighting. Light standards should be
  low and spaced at frequent intervals to avoid the ‘stadium lighting’ effect.
  Clear pedestrian pathways should be provided through the parking facility and
  should connect directly to public streets and building entrances.




   Parking lots should be screened and feature pedestrian lighting and clear pedestrian pathways.




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Process and Approach

18. IMPLEMENTATION OF URBAN DESIGN GUIDELINES – PROCESS

As mentioned previously, the above opportunities and principles should be further
developed as part of a Detailed Urban Design Study. The difference between a self-
standing Detailed Urban Design Study and a Secondary Plan is often unclear. Below are
some key factors of differentiation:
   Comprehensiveness – a Secondary would typically consider all aspects normally
   discussed in an Official Plan, including an overall land use vision, transportation,
   housing, environment, etc. However, the choice exists to address any of these as
   deemed relevant in a Detailed Urban Design Study.
   Legal standing – a Secondary Plan has legal standing as per the Planning Act.
   Relationship with zoning – a Secondary Plan must be reflected in zoning. A Detailed
   Urban Design Study can be reflected in zoning.
   Time to implement – due to the complexity and legal consultation requirements, a
   Secondary Plan is more time-consuming to prepare and adopt than a Detailed Urban
   Design Study.
   Guidelines as a precursor to a secondary plan – a Detailed Urban Design Study can
   be used as a precursor to a Secondary Plan, that is, be folded into a Secondary Plan
   when time comes to prepare one.




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19. KEY SUCCESS FACTORS

  Local championing – key community leaders in the public and private sectors must
  commit to the implementation of the above recommendations with the adherence to a
  schedule that ensures continual effort. Council also needs to have communication that
  is more open with property owners. An example would be the Harbour Committee’s
  decision to meet with each property owner of Picton Harbour to ascertain what their
  wishes are and how they can work with them. Another example relates to retailers
  who desire greater square footage (e.g., building supply and hardware stores). The
  County should be able to work with each retailer individually to see if there is a
  solution that is beneficial for everyone (expanded space in Downtown rather than
  continued development on the west end). What concessions can the County offer to
  help businesses work cooperatively towards the overall goal of keeping Downtown
  strong and compact.
  Leading by Example – public and Private Realm improvements cannot be dissociated.
  It is important that the County not demand higher standards from private property
  owners than from its own real estate and that the quality of the public realm not be
  allowed to fall below that of the private realm. The County must be prepared to invest
  in upgrades to the Harbour, Downtown streetscaping, etc.
  Regular updates and timelines set – achievements must be recorded and the ‘to-do’
  list updated on a regular basis in a collaborative fashion. Some communities find it
  difficult to spend this large amount of money in one year for landscaping and
  streetscaping projects. In Alliston, Ontario, the capital cost of a river park in
  Downtown was too much; however, the municipality agreed to set aside $20,000 to
  $30,000 a year until enough money was raised to begin the construction project.




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     Incentives (time and funding) – the County, with the BIA, should explore desirable
     incentives to property owners within a Community Improvement Plan, for example a
     Façade Improvement Program6, Development Charges Rebates, accelerated treatment
     of desirable development applications, density bonusing, etc. Appendix A contains
     examples of communities that have adopted Historic Preservation Areas with
     incentives and regulations attached to them. Cobourg, with the Historic Preservation
     Areas designated under the Ontario Heritage Act and its building permit system
     based on conservation, offers the best case study for Picton to follow7. However, the
     County must rise to the challenge and devote staff time to ensure that the program is
     followed through. Otherwise, if resources are not available a simple façade
     improvement program similar to many communities (e.g., Orillia, Napanee) may be
     warranted.
     Supportive policies – It is not enough to support and encourage Downtown
     development and redevelopment. It is just as important to understand that significant
     availability of land and looser rules outside of centres will inevitably promote car-
     oriented development outside of the County’s centres. As mentioned, these can
     include a variety of options that protect businesses in Downtown Picton and make
     sure they are strong rather than allowing development on the fringes. The County will
     need to work with existing retailers (e.g., Home Hardware) who wish to expand to
     larger site in order to achieve a win-win situation. Other retailers such as Shoppers
     Drug Mart, Loblaws, and Wal-Mart are very aggressive in achieving desired
     developable land for their buildings. The County must ensure that growth happens on
     their terms and within a period that they feel comfortable with. Smaller scale
     development should be kept within Downtown Picton but allowances may be made
     for a certain number of big box retailers.




6   The Community Futures Development Corporation has funds currently available for façade
improvement programs.
7   Kingston has recently adopted similar measures with different incentive packages for property
owners.




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 Seizing opportunities to piggyback other projects – external projects can provide
 unique opportunities to implement desired changes, even though their timelines can
 be different. The most common example is that of road and sewer reconstruction to
 which significant streetscaping projects can often successfully be piggybacked. Large-
 scale private development and redevelopment can also provide opportunities to
 improve the surrounding public realm, for example through improvements to
 sidewalks, streetscaping and civic spaces as well as removing excessive driveways
 along Main Street.
 Enforcement – all zoning and property standards by-law should be enforced as
 diligently as possible to reward compliance. The best policy framework can falter with
 insufficient enforcement.




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20. REWARDING DESIGN EXCELLENCE

The following two initiatives can further help enhance the physical environment:

Awards for excellence in development and heritage preservation
These can instill a culture of excellence in design. These could be county or region wide
and funded by sponsors. Public input can be sought through ballots provided in area
shops and offices.

A Volunteer Design Review Panel could be formed of professionals in areas such as
urban design, planning, heritage preservation, and architecture to provide input on
applications of a larger scale. Volunteers can be gathered among the area’s many part-
time residents and retirees, along with professionals active in the area. Generally, the
voluntary review panel would not have legal standing, although the panel could have
legal standing in the review of applications for a Historic Preservation Area (see
Appendix).




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APPENDIX
CASE STUDIES: OTHER COMMUNITIES
The following case studies present a description of the district, the regulatory measures,
the incentives and restrictions, and the outcomes.



Cobourg, Ontario
The City of Cobourg has established three historic districts under the Ontario Heritage
Act. Approval is required for new construction, alterations, and additions for street
views. Both the Building Department and the Cobourg Local Architectural
Conservation Advisory Committee will supply a permit for making a structural change
or applying for financial assistance. The committee is comprised of a six member panel
that is appointed every two years. In addition, one member of council sits on the
committee as well.

The committee provides advice and recommendations on all matters concerning
preservation of built heritage including:
   Examine areas that may deserve protection now or in the future
   Facilitating community interests in heritage conservation
   Promoting heritage conservation
   Advising property owners on appropriate conservation and maintenance standards
   Determining the value of heritage preservation for protection through designation
   Providing Council with reliable advice to assist in making decisions
   Educating stakeholders regarding incentives.

Incentives
   Property tax freeze: property taxes are frozen at the pre-development level for a
   period of 10 years. This does not include changes to the mill rate. If the property is
   sold within three years, the entire re-assessed property taxes are to be paid back in
   the form of a loan. If the property is sold after three years, the new owner forfeits the
   tax freeze.
   Low interest loan program: Loans up to $3,000 are available at 1% less prime.
Saint John, N.B.
The City established its first “Preservation Area” for Trinity Royal in 1981. Since that
time, three additional Preservation Areas have been established including the Orange
Street Preservation Area in 1989, Douglas Avenue Preservation Area in 1992, and Mill
Street Preservation Area in 1995. In addition, other property owners adjacent to these
districts have asked to be included. The City is currently seeking a National Historic
District designation for the whole area on the peninsula south of the highway. The
heritage committee is working on inserting references to National Standards for the
Conservation of Historic Places into their by-law.

Incentives
IN 1987, the City of Saint John established the Grants for Historic Building Preservation
Program to encourage property owners to rehabilitate their building facades. The results
of this program are $25 million in redevelopment. In 1991, the City launched an Upper
Floor Program aimed at curbing the high vacancy rates on the second to fourth floors in
uptown commercial buildings. Funds were made available for design and marketing
studies. A recent $46 million Canada/New Brunswick Cooperation Agreement on
Urban Economic Development has made 50% matching grants available for exterior
façade rehabilitation in the Preservation Areas. Each building can qualify for up to
$200,000. Properties in the heritage district have outperformed average property
assessment increases for the City as a whole by 14% to 27%.

Restrictions
All properties in the Preservation Areas must acquire a Certificate of Appropriateness
for any renovation work to facades. This includes changes to landscaping. The Board
may refuse to issue a certificate if it considers the development plan is incomplete with
the Preservation Area standards. The development must use traditional detailing and
traditional materials.

Regulation
A Preservation Areas By-Law was included as a chapter of the Municipal Plan.

Other
The City has prepared a Heritage Action Strategy outlining four priorities to be
completed within the next two years. These include preparation of heritage
development guidelines, preservation of the City water reservoir, creation of a website
promoting heritage conservation, and designation of a National Historic District.
Charlottetown, P.E.I.
The City of Charlottetown adopted a Heritage Incentive Program in May 2002 directed
towards positive restoration and maintenance of heritage resources. Building owners
within the Heritage Area were provided with a wide range of incentives for
development improvements. The Heritage Incentive Program promotes recognition and
appropriate development of heritage resources within the City. Award programs, a tax
freeze, grants, and elimination of a building permit fee provide financial assistance.

Incentives
Properties included in the Heritage Preservation Area are eligible to receive
development incentives. These include:
   Graduated property tax freeze: equivalent to the increase in tax assessment resulting
   from the approved development of the property, for a period of five years. The
   program encourages property owners to retain and rehabilitate their properties
   Exterior grant program: Offers up to 30% of costs up to a maximum of $2,500 for
   large-scale renovation work. A maximum of $1,000 may be used for general
   maintenances and $1,000 or 50% may be used for signage. Heritage resources owned
   or used by government agencies are not eligible unless a non-profit or community
   group assumes responsibility for the maintenance of the building
   Elimination of building permit fees: Used for all heritage applications reviewed by
   the Heritage Board and approved by City Council
   Heritage Award: All projects reviewed by the Heritage Board and approved by City
   Council are considered for this award.

Restrictions
Deteriorated architectural features shall be repaired, not replaced. Systems of insulation,
environmental control or other services shall not speed or start the process of
deterioration. Cleaning materials that damage historic buildings, including sand blasting
should not be undertaken. The development may not violate the National Building Code
or the Life Safety Code.

Regulations
The original character of the building shall be preserved avoiding the removal or
alteration of historic features; all distinctive features should be treated with sensitivity.
Contemporary design for alteration is encouraged if it does not destroy or disrupt any
existing significant historical, architectural, or cultural material. New additions to a
historical property should not disrupt the essential and historical form if they are
removed in the future. The Heritage Officer of the Planning Department works with
property owners by offering guidance to show how a development application fits into
the Heritage Incentive Program.
King Street Area, Kitchener
The King Street area is the traditional commercial heart of Kitchener. In 1994, the City
adopted a strategy that focused on elimination of disincentives to adaptive “re-use” and
provided incentives in the form of building permits and inspections, flexible
development standards, investment in public infrastructure, tax-back grants, feasibility
study grants, an innovative marketing program, and negotiated adaptive re-use scheme
agreements for heritage buildings.

Incentives
A net increase in property tax revenue resulted from re-evaluation of the redeveloped
property, even though owners who re-used industrial buildings in the Downtown area
received a grant or rebate of 50% over the three year period. All development in the
Downtown is exempt from paying development charges or providing parkland or cash-
in-lieu. Certain properties on an “Adaptive Re-use Priorities List” are eligible for
feasibility study grants that cover 50% of the study cost up to a maximum of $10,000.

Regulations
Adaptive re-sue agreements for designated properties are negotiated by the City. Any
applications that do not alter the elevation drawings will be approved. An enterprise
zone was also created. The Retail Core Zone, where all but certain nuisance land uses
would be permitted. Some zoning bylaws were also amended to allow residential uses
of ground floors. Site inspections of buildings targeted for re-sue are conducted at the
request of the owner. Recommendations are directed to the amount of upgrading
required to develop in accordance with the building code. At various stages of
construction, permits may also be issued for adaptive re-sue. There is also a
façade/interior improvement program available to Downtown commercial properties
with 15% of each loan forgiven. A special program was introduced to invest in public
infrastructure, upgrading older streets, sidewalks, and curbs.

The streamlined process has cut application time and reduced building approvals to two
to three weeks.
Water Street, Vancouver
Water Street is the main division of central Vancouver’s Gastown District. In the 1970s
private investors produced rehabilitation and conversion schemes that would improve
the streetscapes. The City relied on non-financial inducements to encourage
investments: waiving parking requirements, reducing building permit fees, exempting
existing buildings from development cost levies, giving priority to permit applications
in processing procedures, and providing a large parking facility.

Incentives
The Gastown Heritage Management Plan includes a variety of incentives and
inducements. A parkade was purchased by the City as an investment in a more positive
street appearance. No parking is required if a building is converted to residential use.
Projects that will re-use existing floor space are exempted from Development Cost
Levies. Priority is given to development applications in the permit processing
procedures.

Regulations
The area is designated as a heritage district. The Gastown Historic Area Planning
Committee reviews any proposed changes. Heritage Revitalization Agreements
negotiated by the City and the owner of the property are usually used to approve
developments.

Others include:
  Kingston, Ontario
  McGill Street, Montreal
  Barrington Street, Halifax
  Peterborough, Ontario.

				
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