Red Deer City Council opposes the County of Red Deer’s proposed expansion of rural acreages west of Hwy 2 because the land is designated for future city annexation.
Red Deer County is in the process of updating its Burnt Lake Area Structure Plan, and wants to identify additional land for future county residential development.
But the parcel under consideration, north of C & E Trail, near Sylvan Creek Estates and Hidden Springs, falls within the city growth area. It also falls within the Intermunicipal Development Plan that guides city and county development, which means Red Deer City Council has a say.
City councillors agreed with a recommendation by City of Red Deer planners to keep this land undeveloped. According to IDP policy, lands within the city growth area should not be fragmented, but left in an agricultural, undeveloped state, until needed for urban development.
This would allow “orderly urbanization to proceed” when the lands are eventually annexed by the city.
Coun. Dianne Wyntjes summarized the general sentiment on council by saying “time can go by quick, so we need to be careful about what we agree to now.”
While there’s high demand for rural acreages that are close to a city, Wyntjes added that allowing this land to be developed into acreages is bound to cause future difficulties for both City and County councils.
Although Red Deer City Council unanimously opposed the county’s proposal, Coun. Buck Buchanan suggested a flood study should be done of this land, in any event, since it’s near a creek and a river.