Small-lot homes heralded

A pilot project that allowed small-lot homes with front-attached double garages in Red Deer’s Lancaster/Vanier East subdivision is being hailed a success by city planners.

A pilot project that allowed small-lot homes with front-attached double garages in Red Deer’s Lancaster/Vanier East subdivision is being hailed a success by city planners. And they’re recommending that R1G lots be allowed elsewhere in the city.

Tony Lindhout and Dayna Nebozenko presented a report on the pilot project to Red Deer’s municipal planning commission this week. They also provided a review of R1N (narrow lot) development in the city.

City council authorized R1G lots three years ago.

The lots are required to have a frontage width of at least 10.5 metres and a depth of 30 or more metres, and to contain a single-family house with an attached double garage on the front.

The front yard setback has to be at least six metres.

Lindhout told the commission that 160 R1G lots were registered in Lancaster/Vanier East, with about 100 developed to date.

He said feedback from owners, homebuilders and the public has been positive, and that the lots result in denser development of residential land and another option for homebuyers.

Their reduced width means a cost saving of about $20,000 per lot, added Lindhout.

The city’s Planing Department is asking council to declare the R1G pilot project a success and to allow the lots elsewhere in Red Deer.

“This will allow the development industry, as they’re working through future neighbourhood area structure plans, to incorporate this new district within those plans,” said Lindhout.

Nebozenko discussed the R1N district review.

Adopted by the city in 1998, these lots and have been used in neighbourhoods throughout Red Deer, with about 1,400 developed as of last fall, said Nebozenko.

They have a minimum frontage width of 10.5 metres and a minimum depth of 36.6 metres.

A five-metre front-yard setback is required, no front driveways or garages are permitted, and two parking stalls must be provided at the rear of the property.

Consultation with owners, developers, builders and the public revealed general support for R1N housing, said Nebozenko. In addition to the benefits of denser development and the creation of another housing option for homebuyers, the lots promote safety and security by providing enhanced visibility of front streets, she added.

The Planning Department is proposing a number of amendments to the city’s land use bylaw with respect to its R1N and R1G districts.

These include allowing, as a discretionary use, home occupation businesses that generate additional traffic; reducing the front-yard setback for R1N lots to 4.5 metres; and adding criteria that encourage greater development of living space above the attached garages on R1G lots.

The commission, which is being asked to provide recommendations to city council, voted to table the Planning Department’s report until May 7.

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