A ground-level cafe planned for this Red Deer seniors’ complex could be opened to the public. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Red Deer Advocate staff).

Future coffee shop in Red Deer seniors’ complex given initial approval to open to the public

A public hearing will be held June 10 at city hall

A coffee shop planned for a downtown Red Deer assisted-living facility was given initial approval to open to the public on Monday.

A 35-seat cafe is envisioned for the main-floor of a six-storey seniors’ facility that’s under construction at 4501 48th Ave., just around the block from the Red Deer museum and recreation centre.

The coffee shop, which would occupy the northwest corner of the building, was supposed to be just for senior occupants of the 89 suites. But the developer wants to be able to open the coffee and pastries outlet to the public, said city senior planner Orlando Toews.

Out of 234 letters the city sent to collect feedback from neighbouring residents, 33 letters were returned — 10 with concerns expressed about parking and venting, and 23 without concerns and/or showing support for the proposal, said Toews.

City council heard the building will have almost double the amount of parking spaces — both underground and at the rear of the building — as required for its residents: 65 stalls rather than the 34 stalls that are stipulated by the bylaw.

Toews said he would have more information about plans for venting the restaurant at the public hearing. But he believes, under city rules, the venting would have to be done from the roof, rather than at street level, as some neighbours had feared might happen.

The proposal received unanimous support upon first reading from council.

Coun. Dianne Wyntjes and Buck Buchanan were absent.

A public hearing will be held June 10.

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