Waikanae Town Centre transformation a step closer
Ideas for how Waikanae town centre might be in future are starting to take shape.
Council has given the green light for draft concept ideas and options to be circulated back to the community for comment in August. The concepts are based on community feedback from the last open day held in May and a subsequent submissions process.
Kāpiti Mayor Ross Church says it's exciting to see ideas starting to take shape. "The Expressway creates the ideal opportunity to re-design Waikanae town centre and create a new heart for the community. We're now starting to actually see what that might look like.
"We started the transformation process back in May when we held an open day asking for ideas on the future of Waikanae. Since then we've talked widely with the community and received 335 suggestions from individuals, groups and organisations.
Most feedback to date has been about Waikanae's central business area, Mayor Church says. "Our town centres team has taken account of the feedback and addressed the various issues raised by proposing a range of ideas."
Mayor Church says people can see the concept plan on the Council meetings section of the website. They will be able to see the options and comment on them at the next community open day on Saturday 16 August, 10am-2pm at Waikanae Library. The options will also be available on Council's website after the open day and people can continue to give their feedback until 1 September.
Options include transforming Ngaio Road into a main street, an upgrade of Mahara Place, potential for turning Mahara Place into a shared space for vehicles and pedestrians, and new green space and public connection to an upgraded Mahara Gallery and Library complex.
A draft concept design has been prepared for the public space areas of Waikanae town centre. Enhancements, including landscaping of Ngaio Road and the current SH 1 (Main Road), are also proposed.
Mayor Church says that, to be successful, the town centre transformation must be a joint effort between Council, the community and businesses.
"Council can facilitate and do things within the public spaces, however, we need the support of the wider community, business and investors to achieve the vision and bring ideas to reality. This could include encouraging business improvement groups, development of buildings up to the street frontage, promotion of farmers' markets, a free public wireless network, shopper buses or coordinated trading hours. By working together in partnership we will be able to achieve long term transformation of our community."
Another open day to look at final designs is planned for early next year, followed by formal consultation as part of the 2015 Long Term Plan process.
The Waikanae town centre transformation is part of the wider Town Centres and Connectors Transformation project, which is also looking at the future shape of Paraparaumu town centre, Kāpiti Road and the parts of State Highway 1 that run through the two towns.
Anyone wanting more information on the project can visit www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/town-centres