Timberlands North plan unveiled
Carriage homes, wide shallow lots, laneless single family homes and live work units paint the picture of what could be the future of neighbourhood design in Red Deer.
About 50 people had a first glimpse of Timberlands North’s proposed land use concept plan and a third look at the East Hill Major Area Structure Plan at an open house at the Balmoral Bible Chapel.
Kim Fowler, director of planning, said there’s a demand for diverse housing for an aging population, retaining younger people and attracting new urbanites.
The Timberlands North plan reduces the amount of commercial originally intended for the area and adds a mix of diverse residential options, green space and commercial space.
The plans incorporate elements of the city’s strategic direction that call for walkable and environmentally sustainable communities. The proposed changes affect the areas in the Timberlands Town Centre Neighbourhood Area Structure Plan, the northern half of Timberlands.
Under the plan, one proposal is a live work unit that has a housing spot above a coffee shop at street level.
“You can come down there and meet your friends or get your quart of milk,” said Fowler. “You don’t have to get into your car and drive. You can take your dog for a walk in nicely designed, well lit park.”
The city is in the process of updating the East Hill plan and the Municipal Development Plan to incorporate 25 acres of land that was annexed from the county in 2009.
A few residents voiced concerns about Northland Drive and 20th Avenue and the proposed six-lane expressway that may take away the green space in their backyards.
East Hill resident Gary Bomhof said he was interested in the timeline of the expressway and its design.
“We realize we aren’t able to stop that but we have some nice trees there and we hope the city doesn’t have to cut them all down,” said Bomhof. “It would be a bit of a buffer between our home and 20th Avenue.”
Bomhof said what he sees probably needs to be done for the development of the city.
Should the road construction be approved in the 2014 capital budget for the eventual 20th Avenue, the first phase of a two-lane highway wold be built in six to nine years.
City council has directed administration to come up with a strategy that would minimize the cutting down of trees along the proposed 20th Avenue.
Information on Timberlands is available on the city’s website (www.reddeer.ca) and surveys will be available until March 25. Red Deer city council will consider first reading on May 13. A public hearing is scheduled for June 10 in council chambers.