New downtown park plans endorsed — with caution

City residents support new development in Rotary Recreation Park as long as it doesn’t swallow up green space, says a consultant working on a conceptual plan for the downtown Red Deer area.

City residents support new development in Rotary Recreation Park as long as it doesn’t swallow up green space, says a consultant working on a conceptual plan for the downtown Red Deer area.

Craig Webber, principal with Group2 Architecture Engineering Ltd. of Red Deer, said more than 90 written responses plus feedback from various public forums showed what residents generally want for Rotary Recreation Park and South Area site.

“There was a desire to preserve the park-like setting,” Webber said on Thursday. “People were generally supportive of some development as long as it was done in a balanced way, preserving features of the park that people connected to.”

The city is looking at how best to use the area, which stretches from the outdoor speedskating oval north of the Golden Circle, past the museum, Recreation Centre, tennis courts and south to where the Red Deer Arena and Kinex Arena are found. The site also runs adjacent to Pioneer Lodge on the east side, but does not include the Rotary playground south of the Red Deer Lodge.

Webber said there was general support for enhanced aquatics and museum building development, along with improvements to the tennis courts area.

People are also keen for minor park improvements like better lighting.

“They don’t want to see so much development that you start to undo the reasons it was a special place in the first place,” Webber said.

The gravel parking lot, which exists across from the arenas, was one negative aspect to the park and could be improved, he added.

The conceptual plan comes out of a Community Assets Needs Assessment, which was done last year to set the direction of recreation, parks and culture facility development over the next 25 years.

Webber said more input will be sought from stakeholder groups, including those who want a 50-metre competitive swimming pool.

A visioning workshop will be held with urban planner Michael von Hausen, who helped with the Greater Downtown Action Plan. It will take place in mid-August. With input from that workshop, he will help develop preliminary concepts with Group2.

Following that, a public open house will be held Aug. 19.

“Some design concepts will be unveiled,” Webber said.

Just Posted

Singer k.d. lang is only Central Alberta native to get 2018 Alberta Order of Excellence

Red Deer native Lorenzo Donadeo does get business honour, however

Red Deer area businesses recognized at Business of the Year Awards night

“It’s an honour just to be nominated.” The popular words echoed throughout… Continue reading

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Film with Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis cancelled after tax case

BEIJING — The director of “Air Strike,” featuring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing,… Continue reading

Michael Buble shuts down rumours of retirement from music

LOS ANGELES — Michael Buble is shutting down rumours that he’s going… Continue reading

After Canada legalizes pot, industry eyes rest of the world

MONTREAL — Cam Battley is a top executive at one of Canada’s… Continue reading

Facebook’s election ‘war room’ takes aim at fake information

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In an otherwise innocuous part of Facebook’s expansive… Continue reading

Military to overhaul morale-boosting trips after review finds serious problems

OTTAWA — Canada’s top general is overhauling military morale-boosting tours after an… Continue reading

Police hand out a few hefty fines for allegedly violating Cannabis Act

The celebratory mood that marked the legalization of recreational cannabis lost a… Continue reading

PHOTO: Say goodbye to City Hall Park flowers

A sure sign that winter is on its way is when City… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Most Read