Naturescaping bylaw tabled to seek input

More feedback is being sought on plans to change Red Deer landscaping requirements as part of an overall effort to conserve water.

Sarah King

More feedback is being sought on plans to change Red Deer landscaping requirements as part of an overall effort to conserve water.

City council decided on Monday to postpone first reading towards changing the land-use bylaw to include water conservation strategies for landscaping.

The amendment proposal will go forward to the municipal planning commission and the city’s environmental advisory committee.

Once the bylaw is presented to the planning commission, council can then give first reading. A public hearing would then follow four weeks after first reading, unless it’s postponed again.

If supported, the city would require developers of larger commercial, industrial and multi-family sites to do more naturescaping, a type of landscaping which uses drought-resistant plants and other methods that save water. At least 15 per cent of the landscaped area would have to be naturescaped.

The land-use bylaw amendment also recommends that at least 25 per cent of front yards be landscaped. This rule would apply to single family, semi-detached and small multifamily dwellings.

“How can you mandate that when somebody owns that property?” said Councillor Lorna Watkinson-Zimmer.

Currently, the city has no landscaping regulations which means an entire front yard can become a driveway.

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