Riverside Meadows residents argue against proposed housing project

Yet another collection of two-bedroom suites is a mighty poor choice for a community that is pleading for more variety, say residents of Riverside Meadows.

Yet another collection of two-bedroom suites is a mighty poor choice for a community that is pleading for more variety, say residents of Riverside Meadows.

On Wednesday, developers and Red Deer city planners held an open house to gauge neighbours’ opinions of a project that would put an 86-unit housing complex on the former site of Harper’s Metals.

Laebon Homes and Polar Developments have formed a partnership to create Riverpointe Crossing Ltd., with plans to build a 24-unit townhouse and a series of eight and 10-unit apartment-style condominiums.

Polar had applied last year for a 65-suite development, but did not follow through with the project.

All units in the updated proposal would be owner-occupied, said Laebon president Gord Bontje.

Aside from being short of parking spaces, the plan is a deep disappointment to area residents who have been working for decades to build more variety into their community, said Kurt Ternes, a former president of the Riverside Meadows Community Association.

The new proposal amounts to more of the same on a prize piece of real estate in the heart of the community, said Ternes.

He wants the developers to bring in a plan that includes more retail, light industrial or professional space, all of which are allowed on the uniquely-zoned site.

“Hit us with your best shot. Don’t come in with the cookie crunchers and leave,” said Ternes.

A special zone was created for the site under a revised redevelopment plan. The plan calls for a wider range of development within Riverside Meadows, said Vicki Swainson, deputy development officer for the city.

Most residents share Ternes’s sentiments, said Marleen Cowan, also a past president of the community association.

While she is concerned with the shortage of parking in the proposal, as defined by the city’s Land Use Bylaw, Cowan also said the neighbourhood needs more variety.

Resident Barb Breau said she also could find no clear need for more of the same type of housing that already exists in the area.

“Let’s build something that we can’t wait to get here. Let’s build something that, 10 years from now, we’re still excited about,” said Breau.

Bontje said the parking issue arose because while he and his partners in the project define the condos as apartments, the city calls them townhouses based on each unit having its own entrance. The Land Use Bylaw requires two stalls per townhouse unit or 1.5 stalls per apartment unit, plus one visitor stall for each five units.

Because the city has classified the condo suites as townhouses, the 159 stalls provide falls 31 short of the requirement, said Swainson.

Input gathered from the open house will be used to guide the city’s development authority in its decision on whether to accept, deny or seek alterations in the proposal, she said.

The final decision will lie with either the municipal planning commission or the subdivision and development appeal board, said Swainson.

People with an interest in the area have been given a deadline of June 4 to submit their thoughts on the proposal.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Advocate file photo).
RDC wins two national awards for environmental initiatives

Clean50 and LEED awards were received for innovative, green projects

St. Joseph High School, Notre Dame High School, Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, and St. Thomas Aquinas School are all dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks of 10 or more cases. (File photo by Advocate staff)
COVID-19 impacting Red Deer schools

Education minister says 99.6 per cent of students and staff remain in school in Alberta

Sylvan Lake product Carter Graf is having a strong second season at North Carolina State University representing the Wolfpack in NCAA Div. 1 men’s golf. (Photo courtesy of NC State Athletics)
Sylvan Lake’s Carter Graf finding success in second season at NC State

Carter Graf and the North Carolina State Wolfpack have been scorching hot… Continue reading

DynaLife is hiring more staff to bring waiting times for blood tests down in Red Deer. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma, File)
DynaLIFE is hiring more staff in Red Deer to reduce wait times

Wait times for appointment will be further reduced

Alberta Biobord Corp. recently hosted a virtual open house from Stettler

The company plans to develop a fuel pellet and medium density fibre board (MDF) plant near the community

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

A Quebec Superior Court justice is set to issue a ruling Tuesday on the constitutionality of the province’s secularism law, known as Bill 21. People hold up signs during a demonstration against Bill 21 in Montreal, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Quebec court upholds most of province’s secularism law, exempts English school boards

MONTREAL — Quebec’s secularism law is largely legal, a Superior Court judge… Continue reading

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth speaks during a press conference at the legislature in Victoria, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. The British Columbia government is providing a few more details about travel restrictions aimed at limiting movement around the province to slow the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Periodic roadblocks but no individual stops planned for B.C.’s COVID-19 travel rules

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government is looking at using periodic roadblocks… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is joined virtually by Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland as they talk online to a group of front-line pharmacists from across the country to discuss the ongoing vaccination efforts in the fight against COVID‑19, from the Prime Ministers office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Provinces balk at Liberals’ child-care budget pledge as funding negotiations loom

OTTAWA — Multiple provincial governments are questioning the Liberals’ promise of a… Continue reading

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Monday, April 19, 2021. Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Trudeau, Freeland seeking AstraZeneca shots as they become age-eligible with others

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland… Continue reading

The Rogers Logo is photographed on a Toronto office on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
Rogers says wireless service fully restored but questions remain after massive outage

A massive countrywide wireless outage that left millions of Rogers Communications Inc.… Continue reading

Alberta Biobord Corp. recently hosted a virtual open house from Stettler

The company plans to develop a fuel pellet and medium density fibre board (MDF) plant near the community

The controversial Super League is materializing after Madrid and 11 other clubs announced its creation on Sunday. (File photo by BLACK PRESS)
Super League a ‘longtime dream’ for Madrid president Pérez

League created because coronavirus pandemic left clubs in a dire financial situation

San Jose Sharks centre Patrick Marleau (12) skates during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild, in San Jose, Calif., Monday, March 29, 2021. Marleau is skating in his 1,757th game. Only one other player in NHL history has hit that mark. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Tony Avelar
Patrick Marleau set to break Gordie Howe’s record for most NHL games played

Marleau was set to suit up for the 1,768th time Monday

Most Read