What are your hopes and dreams for Masset’s future?
That was the question residents were invited to answer on a big, blank page during Harbour Day last month as part of the lead-up to making Masset’s new Official Community Plan.
“Swimming pool!” was a popular answer, often written with hearts for the “i”s.
But while a pool may be too costly, Village Councillor Jason Thompson and Whistler Centre for Sustainability facilitator Shannon Gordon heard many other tips when they set up a booth there to recruit ideas and volunteers to help with the plan.
Several residents said they enjoy Masset for its small-town character, safety, and sense of freedom.
People called for more public access to the waterfront, a revitalized downtown core, all-ages fitness trails, new cycling paths and racks, a covered outdoor market, and re-developing the former base property in the town centre to support more community events and public art.
Thinking not only of the village infrastructure, but also its economy and social dynamic, residents also called for efforts to boost local commercial fishing, ecotourism and forestry, as well as communicating more with neighbouring villages and hosting more post-secondary education programs so that youth want to stay in Masset longer.
The village is now recruiting 12 to 15 residents to join a volunteer advisory committee that will meet four or five times to help complete a new plan by next summer.
Gordon said she expects the total time commitment to be about 25 hours.
When finished, the new Official Community Plan will guide village councillors in everything from land use and environmental protection to housing, commercial and industrial development, recreation and community health.
The Village of Masset has applied for a matching 50/50 grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to fund the planning work, which will be assisted by the Haida Nation mapping office. Masset’s current community plan was last updated in 1993.