Urban Design & Community Planning in Mountain Communities

Our Design Philosophy

At Selkirk Planning & Design, we create places for people by integrating the local landscape into ecologically-based urban design that enhances and celebrates a local sense of place in mountain communities.

Urban Design & Placemaking

URBAN DESIGN & PLACEMAKING begins with a thorough URBAN DESIGN ANALYSIS that informs an URBAN DESIGN PLAN that creates people-focussed places that reflect a local sense of place. The analysis considers current site influences such as climate, landscape, culture, surrounding neighbourhood, road and trail networks, etc. and identifies existing issues and opportunities. Urban Design Plans that guide future development in a way that recognizes the local sense of place and ensures compatibility with the existing community. Urban design plans focus specifically on the built form to develop guidelines for infill, building massing, facade treatment, streetscape design, landscaping, signage, & more.

Potential Urban Design & Placemaking Services include:

  • Built Form & Infill Plans;
  • Public Space Design;
  • Streetscape Design;
  • Design Guidelines; and
  • Signage and Wayfinding Strategies.

Master Planning

A MASTER PLAN is a land use plan focused on one or more sites within an area that identifies access, general improvements and needed infrastructure, and intended to guide growth and development over a number of years and in phases.

The Master Planning process can involve several services such as:

  • A DEVELOPMENT POTENTIAL ANALYSIS that looks at existing zoning and land use and uses 3D images to illustrate the potential development of a specific property or group of properties. This analysis also includes general investment, required parking, and may suggest changes to land use, zoning and variances.
  • A CONCEPTUAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN that includes a preliminary development concept (sketch) and refined development concept (3D/Plan) that illustrates the development potential and general character of the neighbourhood. This includes building form and massing, general locations for sidewalks, roads, parking, general landscaping and street furniture.
  • A MASTER PLAN that is a very detailed, neighbourhood-scale plan incorporating zoning requirements, greenspace and public space location and scale, pathway, sidewalk and roadway layout, in a comprehensive plan. It involves an extensive urban design process, and are the key visioning tool for refining a development concept. The Master Plan will include detailed design of streets and public spaces.

3D Design & Modeling

Selkirk Planning & Design does its detailed design in a 3D MODELING environment. Modeling work includes quickly generated images, stylized computer images, and photoshop integrated sketchy renderings. Higher quality 3D renderings can be completed to give a more accurate/photorealistic view of proposed designs.

Working in 3D has several benefits that include the ability to:

  • Develop a 2D scaled plan at the same time as a 3D model; 
  • Develop multiple views of the proposed design without additional time;
  • Create pedestrian-oriented views to accurately show what the design will look like;
  • Test designs in 3 dimensions to know that what works in plan, also works in real life;
  • Share 3D models and designs easily; and
  • Integrate with technologies, such as VR to create a unique engagement experience.

Community Master Planning & Strategies

COMMUNITY MASTER PLANS & STRATEGIES are developed for municipalities and regional districts with a focus on land use and community engagement. The development of a community master plan involves a large city or region-wide urban design & planning process that:

  • Establishes a vision, goals and objectives;
  • Identifies and maps project specific priorities for a community or region;
  • Engages stakeholders and community members;
  • Establishes prioritized recommendations;
  • Guides implementation through a thorough implementation strategy.

Selkirk Planning & Design has developed a proven methodology for community master plans & strategies that ensures informed decision-making, transparency, incorporation of community input, effective community engagement, an effective decision-making process, and a clear implementation process.

The final product is a series of maps and a report that outlines the process, prioritizes recommendations and outlines the implementation process clearly. GIS-compatible maps are created and are available as a digital file upon project completion.

GIS Mapping

Selkirk Planning & Design uses several programs that integrate with GIS MAPPING, allowing us to create visually-rich graphics and maps that can be exported to a GIS system. Our mapping has the ability to offer a fully GIS-compatible design that can be shared between local governments, partnering consulting firms, and land-owners. This ensures accuracy of information, and future usability of files. 

Further to this we can create Georeferenced PDF files for use in the field to identify Assets, Issues, and Opportunities while on site. We use these files in combination with mapping apps to accurately map, and actively engage the community on walking tours and deliver a comprehensive analysis of sites in minimal time.

Our mapping integrates with:

  • Georeferenced pdfs;
  • Shapefiles & Geodatabases;
  • Open Streets Data; and
  • DXF & DWG CAD formats

Site Plans & Development Permits

SITE PLANS are required for DEVELOPMENT PERMIT APPLICATIONS and typically focus on a single property. Site plans are scaled maps that show required information, such as building footprint, property boundaries & setbacks, landscaping, etc. Larger scale site plans include a detailed design of public space, frontages, landscaping elements, building footprints, etc. 

A site plan can be prepared for development permit applications at any scale and include a colour site plan, a dimensioned site plan, a conceptual landscaping plan, and other graphic materials that are required for the submission.

Development Permit Applications include site plans, landscaping plans, views of buildings and public spaces to ensure that development applications meet each municipalities specific development permit requirements. 

Rezoning, Subdivision & Form-Based Bylaws

Selkirk Planning & Design provides consultation and advice on potential rezoning and subdivision applications with an emphasis on creating pedestrian-oriented, walkable neighbourhoods. A thorough review of existing bylaws and requirements is completed with a summary report that analyzes potential subdivision and/or proposed rezoning. Rezoning and Subdivision services include:

  • Rezoning or Variance Applications;
  • Comprehensive Development Zone Development;
  • Subdivision Applications; and
  • Maps Required for applications.

Selkirk Planning & Design has experience developing form-based zoning bylaws including:

  • Transect Graphics;
  • Transect Zone Regulations;
  • Non-Transect Zone integration;
  • Street & Frontage Graphics & Regulations; and
  • Use Regulations including mixed use zones.


Interested in learning more about how we can help you?

Please contact us