The area bordered in blue, east of the county's Lynn Valley subdivision and west of Hazlett Lake, and Hwy 2 is being proposed for annexation by the City of Red Deer. (Contributed map).

City of Red Deer wants to annex 137 hectares west of Hwy 2 and north of Hwy 11A

The city is deficient in highway-fronted developable land, council hears

The City of Red Deer has started the ball rolling on its most significant proposed land annexation in a dozen years.

The city will begin negotiations with Red Deer County on a proposal to annex 137 hectares on the west side of Hwy 2 and north of Hwy 11A. This land sits northeast of the Queen’s Business Park, east of the Lynn Valley county subdivision and west of the city’s planned Hazlett Lake development in north Red Deer.

“It’s a great day for central Alberta,” said Mayor Ken Johnston, who feels this particular annexation — the city’s first since 2009 — would have regional, and not just city, impact.

“It’s a significant annexation if you think of the scope and the highway frontage, and the opportunity that’s most apparent as… a job creator.”

Johnston said this land is needed so the city can attract and accommodate the kinds of larger-scale commercial developments that require highway frontage and access off the main route connecting Edmonton and Calgary.

The proposed annexation, which has been in the discussion phase for months, would provide “a tremendous lift to us,” economically, said Johnston. He added, “I’m really looking forward to this project starting down the road” and having the process conclude in an anticipated 18 months, by Sept. 2023.

At Monday’s City Council meeting, City Council passed a resolution endorsing a Notice of Intent to Annex, supporting the proposed annexation and directing administration to begin the formal process.

Interim city manager Tara Lodewyk said the city has a deficiency in highway-fronting commercial land. Most of the other highway frontage within city limits has now been developed or has pending plans for development — for instance by Red Deer Polytechnic.

The Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) between the city and Red Deer County recommends the city have within its boundary a 30-to-50-year supply of developable land for growth purposes. Recent data indicates the city has 22 years of open land available.

Lodewyk said a developer is waiting for this proposed annexation to be formally approved in order to start a residential/commercial project on the land. She noted North American Development Group would work in partnership with the landowner, the Hazlett family, on a residential/commercial project on this land once it is annexed.

Last June, council gave direction to administration to prepare an annexation proposal for the land north of the Queen’s Industrial Business Park and west of Highway QEII.

“This annexation speaks to a potential economic development opportunity to attract and retain business investments, create employment opportunities, and boost the economy,” said Johnston. “Commercial development along Highway QEII leverages Red Deer’s central location and contributes to expanding and diversifying Red Deer as a long-term economic hub.”

Annexation is used by municipalities to realign jurisdictional boundaries to ensure a sufficient land supply for long-term development.

More information about this proposed annexation is available by visiting Information is provided about the existing boundaries and about upcoming public engagement opportunities.

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