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City rejects Chinook’s Edge Waskasoo housing proposal

Chinook’s Edge School Division is looking forward to the creation of an area redevelopment plan for Waskasoo after its plans for housing were rejected on Monday.

Red Deer city council defeated first reading of the Waskasoo Neighbourhood Area Structure Plan that would have allowed development of 16 houses along 45th Avenue and three more on a portion of 59th Street. Council felt it wasn’t the right move without an area redevelopment plan that would reflect the vision of the property.

An area redevelopment plan is a neighbourhood-based municipal planning tool used to guide redevelopment and/or changes to an existing developed neighbourhood or defined area.

Chinook’s Edge school division superintendent Kurt Sacher agrees the area redevelopment plan is necessary.

“We’ve been asking for that for a few years so it’s nice it’s going to begin in 2013,” said Sacher. “That shouldn’t take more than a couple of years. The painfully slow process of getting some value out of that land (of ours) has been very frustrating.”

The Chinook’s Edge board wants value for its land.

“They want to liquidate it,” said Sacher. “We want some value for the excess land that we own. Then we can use that elsewhere to meet other capital needs in the division.”

Sacher said that a number of people would like to see the Chinook’s Edge land remain untouched. This would be fine with Chinook’s Edge as well, as long as it got some value for it, he added.

The city will continue to work with Chinook’s Edge on finding a solution for the land, Sacher said.

The school division wants to subdivide the land into four components, one of which would be the housing.

The other sections included the River Glen School site, municipal reserve/park space, as well as land occupied by Parkland School. The Parkland School area would be turned over to Parkland Community Living and Supports Society (CLASS) for renovations and expansion.

Sacher added that this week’s decision by city council has no impact on the River Glen property.

The rural students who go to River Glen School, which opened in 1960, are scheduled to relocate to a new school in Penhold in 2014.

Red Deer Public School Division then hopes to use River Glen School for its Gateway School alternative program.

ltester@reddeeradvocate.com

 
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