Clearview Market businesses speak out on parking

Expansion requires Red Deer city council approval

Business owners in Clearview Market are hoping the commercial area’s next phase of development will include more parking.

On Monday city council passed final reading to rezone the triangular piece of land that sits between Clearview Market and the 67th Street/30th Avenue roundabout.

The intention is for the city-owned 10.5-acre parcel be sold for eventual Clearview Market expansion.

After several business owners raised concerns about parking during Monday’s public hearing, council directed city administration to prepare a land use bylaw amendment so council will have approval authority over the site’s development plans instead of administration.

Clearview Market was developed as a pedestrian-friendly commercial area and businesses say they have been losing customers who want parking closer to the store, shop or restaurant they are visiting.

Access to the area was also hampered during construction of the roundabout.

Coun. Tanya Handley said she has spoken on many occasions about the lack of parking in the city.

“As a city we have to stop trying to design away or assisting developers to design away the fact that the vast majority of our citizens now and in the future drive to their destination and require parking on arrival,” Handley said.

“With our winter climate people want to park closer to the businesses they frequent. This is a fact. It’s not going to change with any amount of education or promotion that we do.”

Coun. Lawrence Lee said giving council authority over development plans will allow council to provide direction.

“That area of town has certainly been an opportunity and a challenge. I hope that we take this opportunity to enhance that site and keep it moving. We need to support those businesses,” Lee said.

Mayor Tara Veer said when development applications come forward council will have an opportunity to be responsive to some of the issues identified.

“In a time with economic recession as well as some of those operating challenges, certainly having quick access through parking will only help resolve some of those long standing systemic issues,” Veer said.

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