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Planners recommend adoption of West Park plan

A draft area redevelopment plan for Red Deer’s West Park neighbourhood moved a step forward on Wednesday.

The city’s municipal planning commission voted unanimously to recommend that the plan be adopted by city council.

City planner Jordan Furness described how the plan, which was requested by council, reflects feedback obtained from West Park residents at four open houses.

He said its five objectives are to: “maintain the character-defining feature of predominantly single-family homes;” require “quality redevelopment and preservation or replacement of front yard trees;” improve transit, cycling and walking links while maintaining space for vehicles; establish an “education and athletic hub” on the south end of the subdivision; and make efficient use of open spaces to meet the community’s needs.

The plan contains 15 specific recommendations to achieve these objectives, ranging from working with the community to develop long-term park use of Store Hill next to West Park Shopping Centre, to adding specific design criteria for the subdivison in Red Deer’s land use bylaw.

Furness said West Park is one of the city’s most complete neighbourhoods, with varied housing types, parks and stores.

He added that the neighbourhood is also arguably in the best location, with easy access to a variety of amenities and facilities.

Coun. Cindy Jefferies said it’s in the best interest of West Park residents to have an area redevelopment plan — something that her own neighbourhood lacks.

“Someone could come in and develop just about anything they wanted, within some semblance of reason, and our community would have nothing to base any opposition on.”

 
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