Local briefs – October 24

City council has supported rezoning of land so an off-leash park can go ahead on Red Deer’s south end.

Off-leash park moves ahead

City council has supported rezoning of land so an off-leash park can go ahead on Red Deer’s south end.

Final readings were given this week to rezone to parks and recreation from future urban development. The land is located on a closed landfill site southwest of 19th Street and 40th Avenue. A clay cap has been placed on the dump debris so contaminants can’t leech into the park.

Dave Matthews, planning and technical services supervisor with the City of Red Deer, said the city is now seeking tenders for the project to develop the 35-acre park.

A development permit could be issued by mid-November and then work could begin on site grading and fencing.

Construction should be finished by next spring and summer on the $400,000 park. When it’s done, it will have perimeter fencing, picnic areas, pet waste bag receptacles and rain shelters.

It will be known as Oxbows Off Leash Dog Park. Oxbows are loops formed by a horseshoe bend in a river or waterway. They are found on the nearby Piper Creek.

Red Deer’s other off-leash dog park is found at Three Mile Bend, just east of the civic yards within the Riverside industrial area.

Offsite levies to increase

It will cost 12 per cent more to develop land in Red Deer.

City council gave approval this week for increasing offsite levies, which are charged to developers to extend water, sanitary and storm water services, plus roads into new developments.

The city will increase the cost to developers to $174,875 per hectare from $156,120 — an increase of $18,755 per hectare over last year. The rates will be retroactive to Jan. 1. The cost the developer pays is passed on to homeowners when they purchase the property.

Based on 14 residential lots in a hectare of property, the average homeowner would be required to pay $13,685 per property, or $2,534 more than last year.

The proposed increase comes after 2008 saw offsite levies jump from $33,050 to $156,120 per hectare.

Cultural future planned

Anyone with a strong interest in shaping Red Deer’s future might be interested in a seminar by renowned Canadian cultural planning expert Gord Hume.

Hume will present Cultural Planning for Creative Communities from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2, at the Golden Circle Seniors Centre.

The seminar will discuss creative city concepts, how cultural planning spurs economic opportunities, and new ways of looking at community, culture and prosperity.

Tickets are $20 and registration is available through the City of Red Deer’s website, www.redeer.ca/looknbook, or by phone at 403-309-8555, or in person at the Collicutt Centre or Recreation Centre. The registration code is 40191.

For more information, call Wendy Meeres at 403-309-3083.

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