West Park redevelopment plan subject of open house

Densities will stay the same overall, but there will be some internal shifting under a redevelopment plan now being proposed for one of Red Deer’s oldest neighbourhoods.

Densities will stay the same overall, but there will be some internal shifting under a redevelopment plan now being proposed for one of Red Deer’s oldest neighbourhoods.

For example, a street now zoned for duplexes will be converted to single-family units while duplexes will be allowed on a street that was formerly zoned for single units, city planner Jordan Furness said during an open house at West Park Activity Centre on Monday.

An open house for the West Park Redevelopment Plan is being repeated today from 4 to 8 p.m so residents and investors can review a proposal that is now in the final stages of preparation before a draft is presented to city council.

There is hope that a redevelopment plan will encourage new investment in areas of the subdivision that could use some upgrades, such as new single or multi-family construction, said Furness.

Citizens were invited during the open houses to have a look at the proposal and comment on changes for the final draft, to be be brought back in March for review.

Parking problems related to density as well as derelict vehicles in people’s yards and oversize vehicles parked on the streets were among the issues residents hope to see addressed.

Jim Steele, a West Park resident for the past 21 years and 10-year resident Bill Orchin, past president of the West Park Community Association, both raised issues with the number of secondary suites being allowed in single-family homes and the parking problems that have arisen because of them.

The city isn’t doing a good enough job of policing the bylaws, including one that allows people to create secondary suites in single-family homes.

Having up to five adults in house can mean up to eight cars and trucks, which means there’s very little room for everyone to park, said Orchin.

People are also looking for a new pathway along Cronquist Drive to improve the walk into the city centre, he said.

Both men criticized the city for allowing large vehicles to park on the street for up to 72 hours, adding to the burden.

Steele said that the city should patrol for infractions rather than waiting for residents to complain.

With 22,000 homes in the city, it would be extremely expensive to patrol for land-use infractions, said Furness.

Residents are being encouraged to report problems to the complaint line, 403-406-8766, that breaks their issues down into eight different categories, he said.

Planners hope to present a final draft of the West Park Redevelopment Plan to city council in late spring, said Furness.

Information about the plan, including proposed zoning changes, are available on the city’s website at www.reddeer.ca/westpark or by calling Furness at 403-406-8701.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

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