The Waterfront Development Corporation has doubled the amount of public space in its plans to develop the Bedford waterfront, four years after its first plans met heavy criticism.
The old plan called for significant infilling of the Bedford Basin. The new plan has halved the number of residential units and doubled the greenspace.
Andy Fillmore, vice-president of planning and development at the Waterfront Development Corporation, said that cuts the plans for infilling by half.
"The other benefit of going smaller was we can go faster. We're ready to go with the land that's filled now," he said Wednesday.
The Bedford Waterfront Community Re-engagement — a public information session — started Wednesday and runs until Saturday. The open house display of the plans is at the Sunnyside Mall from:
- 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday.
- 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
A walking tour of the site runs Thursday and Friday at 12:00 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m. It starts at 210 Waterfront Dr.
After the public information sessions, the Waterfront Development Corporation will finalize its plan by this summer and take it to the city for permission.
Bedford resident Jennifer Ramsey said the plan looks better, but she has reservations.
"I still think we need more greenspace. There's a lot of buildings; it's still high density," she said.
Conan Baker stopped by to see the plans.
"I like it. Development is always good. The train tracks are right next to it — why don't we take advantage of that for transport to downtown?" he said.
A group of Bedford residents called Save Bedford's Waterfront tweeted cautious optimism, which seemed to be supported by Bedford Councillor Tim Outhit.
The organization is trying to protect a reef that was to be infilled in the original plans.
New vision does seem to include saving reef and Island, & community asking for a Park..we'll see what happens @TimOuthit— SaveBedfordBasin (@SaveBedfordReef) April 30, 2014