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Commercial development delayed

Red Deer’s municipal planning commission sent a proposal for a commercial development in the northwest corner of Oriole Park back for fine-tuning on Monday.

Developer Bradley Gabrielson is seeking to put two commercial buildings on the lot at 6852 66th St. — just off Orr Drive. One would contain a pizza restaurant and a sports bar, with conference rooms in the basement. The other is earmarked for a 17-room hotel, with 13 rooms on the second storey, and four rooms, a convenience store and a liquor store on the first floor.

The sports bar would cover approximately 2,300 square feet and have space for 130 patrons, while the restaurant would seat 30.

Because the sports bar would be within 150 metres of an existing drinking establishment — the lounge at the Mohave Grill — its size would be limited to 2,000 square feet. Accordingly, Gabrielson was also seeking an approximately 300-square-foot relaxation from the commission.

An application in September by Scott Builders Inc. on behalf of Gabrielson sought approval for three buildings on the lot: one with a pizza restaurant and sports bar, and conference rooms below; another with a convenience store and liquor store; and a third with two leasable commercial spaces. But the commission was concerned about the resulting traffic, and several other issues, and voted to table the application.

A month later, it was withdrawn

Worries about traffic came up again on Monday, with commission members not satisfied with a condition simply requiring the completion of a traffic impact assessment that meets with the approval of Red Deer’s Engineering Services.

In addition to Mohave Grill and several other hotels in the area, there is a Tim Hortons, Princess Auto and Flying J station nearby.

“Flying J is just stacked with semis, as is that whole area,” said Coun. Buck Buchanan. “You cannot hardly drive in that area at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning with the semis that are in there. By adding this, I’m not sure we’re doing the right thing.”

There were also concerns about the absence of detailed drawings of one of the buildings — which administration acknowledged was an oversight on its part, the fact the plans were not drawn with metric measurements, and the necessity of some of the conditions at this stage of development.

The commission voted to tabled the application for up to six weeks to allow these issues to be addressed.



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