Changes in store for east side

The City of Red Deer’s Planning Department is recommending wholesale changes to the plan that outlines future development on the city’s east side.

The City of Red Deer’s Planning Department is recommending wholesale changes to the plan that outlines future development on the city’s east side.

The department presented a revised East Hill Major Area Structure Plan to Red Deer’s municipal planning commission on Wednesday.

The commission was asked to review the plan and recommend its adoption to city council.

Among the key changes would be the elimination of the “town centre site” designation — a mix of commercial types with medium- and high-density residential development — near the intersection of 30th Avenue and 67th Street.

This would change Clearview Market Square from a town centre to a district commercial centre with a residential area.

District commercial centres would also be added to the area where 20th Avenue and Ross Street meet, and at the northeast curve in the North Highway Connector.

District commercial centres cover 10 to 15 acres and are anchored by a grocery store with a mix of retail, service and office uses. Deer Park Centre Mall and East Hill Shopping Centre are existing examples.

Also proposed is the removal of reference to a multi-use recreational leisure complex in favour of recreational fields and a possible field house at 67th Street and 30th Avenue.

A francophone high school that would be co-located with another high school is also contemplated for this area.

Delburne Road (19th Street) would be redesignated an arterial roadway rather than an expressway.

The new plan would also add neighbourhood design principles, and provision for regional trails.

The area falling within the new East Hill Major Area Structure Plan’s boundaries would include much of the land annexed from Red Deer County on the east side of the city in 2009.

Also covered would be the Garden Heights, Michener Hill, Clearview, Timberlands, Timberstone, Rosedale, Deer Park, Lancaster, Vanier Woods and Inglewood subdivisions, as well as much of Eastview, Morrisroe, Anders and Sunnybrook.

The original plan dates back to the late 1970s, when it covered just four quarters. It’s been amended repeatedly since, most recently in September 2012.

In addition to the revised East Hill Major Area Structure Plan, related amendments to the city’s municipal development plan and its land use bylaw are proposed. The changes have been discussed at several public meetings, including one on March 14.

The municipal planning commission is expected to decide on May 8 whether it will recommend the changes to city council. Council could consider first reading of a bylaw adopting the plan as early as May 13, with a public hearing on June 10.

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