Green space, trails figure prominently in plans for Vanier East/North

A new neighbourhood on Red Deer’s southeast side will boast more green space and trails than the average because of utility right-of-ways running through the land, says an official with Melcor Developments.

A new neighbourhood on Red Deer’s southeast side will boast more green space and trails than the average because of utility right-of-ways running through the land, says an official with Melcor Developments.

Red Deer area residents got their first peek of the draft Vanier East/North Neighbourhood Area Structure Plan during Thursday’s open house at St. Francis of Assisi Middle School.

Guy Pelletier, vice-president for the Red Deer region of Melcor Developments, said the 304-acre parcel is unique because of how much green space and trails will be on hand.

That’s due to an AltaLink power line running through the centre of the plan area, plus there are sweet gas pipelines on the land as well.

“This particular site doesn’t have a large central park but it has a lot more regional parks,” said Pelletier. The area structure plan is bounded by the Lonsdale residential subdivision to the north, Lancaster Green and Vanier Woods subdivisions to the west, 19th Street (Delburne Road) to the south, and the future 20th Avenue expressway to the east.

The majority of the land right now is agricultural farm land with several areas of upland trees. Pelletier said about a third of one stand of trees in the centre area will be removed, while about 80 per cent of a stand of trees along 19th Street will be saved.

Part of the land developer’s proposal is to construct two wetlands, which people like because they attract birds and wildlife, Pelletier said. Larger single family homes would back onto the wetlands.

A mix of housing would make up the neighbourhood, including five multi-family residential sites slated near public transit routes and easy walking distances to open spaces.

Taryne Munro and her husband Steven, who live along Larsen Crescent bordering the plan’s northern boundary, are looking forward to a back lane. They’d like to convince Melcor to situate a park closer to where they live. They are also curious about what Melcor will do with the wetlands already in the area.

One primary concern is the proposed multi-family housing site near them.

“There’s already a lot of people in this area for density,” Munro said.

Once fully developed, the area could have about 1,800 dwelling units for a density of 17.83 dwelling units per hectare.

The area structure plan also identifies a “district centre site”, just off of 20th Avenue, where a mix of retail, service and office spaces would be found. A grocery store would anchor the site.

The plan also identifies space for a place of worship, plus two social care sites, which could be used for assisted living buildings, daycare facilities and the like.

Pelletier said Melcor plans to service this spring two phases (about 120 lots for each) on the southern portion, with building permits available this fall. A social care site off of Viscount Drive is being advertised right now, he said.

Haley Mountstephen, senior planner with the city, said the public comments from the open house will be compiled as part of reports that will be filed with the Municipal Planning Commission and city council in the next couple of months. Residents will have the chance to give public input again when the report goes to a public hearing during a future city council meeting, Mountstephen added.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com