FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – City council was presented with the blueprints for the proposed Parkwood Neighbourhood for the first time at a public meeting on Monday.

The proposed 3,400-unit residential neighbourhood would occupy 608 acres of land on the City’s west side. The development would be north of the Alaska Highway, stretching from 116 Street to 269 Road. It would feature parks, sidewalks and a potential privately-run open space for recreational purposes. The development would feature a range of housing options from large single-family homes to single person units.

“We are really focusing on the creation of what we call the village,” said WSP Consultation and Lead Community Planner Bob Evans. “Key points of the plan that I would like to reiterate are creating a guiding vision that is first and foremost flexible for the project. We have to look into the future and anticipate changing lifestyle adaptations. We are in it for the long term.”

Among the few issues raised by city residents were why the city was looking to set aside land for such a large development when the city’s population fluctuates from year to year, and where resident children would attend school since space is at a premium in Fort St. John schools despite the new Margaret ‘Ma’ Murray school opening this Fall.

“This particular project is a long-term project,” said Owners Group Representative and Project Manager Jim Radford. “We are supporting the council’s initiatives of why the lands were incorporated into the city, as there is a long-term need for city growth particularly residential with its related infrastructure.” Evans also added that the developer has two acres of land set aside for a regional high school.

The Parkwood Neighbourhood Plan has to be read one further time in council to advance to the next stage of completion.