Housing proposal shunned

A proposal to develop housing on a portion of the River Glen School lands in the Waskasoo neighbourhood has received a cold shoulder from Red Deer’s municipal planning commission.

A proposal to develop housing on a portion of the River Glen School lands in the Waskasoo neighbourhood has received a cold shoulder from Red Deer’s municipal planning commission.

Members of the commission voted unanimously on Wednesday to recommend to city council that it reject a draft neighbourhood area structure plan that would allow development of 16 single-family dwellings along 45th Avenue and three more on 59th Street.

They cited a number of concerns, including the fact that an area redevelopment plan for the broader neighbourhood is currently being prepared.

“Waiting for an ARP is, I think, extremely important,” said Coun. Paul Harris.

The Waskasoo neighbourhood area structure plan application was received from Chinook’s Edge School Division, which owns the River Glen School property. It wants to subdivide the land into four components, one of which would consist of 16 low-density residential lots and three narrow residential lots.

The other components would include the River Glen School site and municipal reserve/park space, with the fourth comprising the land occupied by Parkland School — with that area to be turned over to Parkland Community Living and Supports Society (CLASS) for renovations and expansion.

The rural students who attend River Glen School, which opened in 1960, are scheduled to relocate to a new Chinook’s Edge school in Penhold in 2014. Red Deer Public School Division is seeking to use the building for its Gateway Christian School Alternative Program.

In addition to River Glen and Parkland schools, the property is the site of playground equipment, a toboggan hill, a volleyball court, a soccer field, a tennis/basketball court, a ball diamond and portions of the Waskasoo Park South Bank Trail.

It’s now zoned public services district, which could allow developments like institutional service facilities and offices for community groups and private clubs.

The Gaetz Lake Sanctuary Committee and Waskasoo Community Association raised concerns about the proposal, as did city staff — which recommended that the commission oppose the neighbourhood area structure plan.

“I think we need to work with the community to determine what, if anything, changes on that particular property as a context of the greater community,” said Coun. Cindy Jefferies, who agreed that the area redevelopment plan should be approved before a neighbourhood area structure plan is adopted.

Other issues identified by the commission included the lack of community support for the plan, its potential effect on traffic flows on 45th Avenue, challenges associated with the nearby river escarpment, the proximity of setbacks from former landfill sites and the impact on the neighbourhood’s architectural character.

If city council approves first reading of the Waskasoo neighbourhood area structure plan, a public open house and public hearing would take place.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Who is at highest risk of exposure to COVID-19? Firefighters, drivers, pharmacists, cooks

Central Alberta firefighter says virus taking toll on mental health

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Federal share is approaching $750 million annually, up from $618 million in 2012-13

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

N.S. fire crews continue battling ‘out-of-control’ Porters Lake blaze

Word of the fire first emerged early Saturday afternoon

Technology, representation butt heads amid debate over resuming Parliament

The Liberals are now proposing four meetings a week until June 17

Procession for Snowbirds crash victim makes its way through Halifax

The 35-year-old military public affairs officer and Halifax native died in the crash

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada as of May 23

There are 83,621 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada

Procession for Snowbirds crash victim to make its way through Halifax today

The military public affairs officer died in the Snowbirds Tutor jet crash in B.C. last Sunday

Employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

Only eight per cent of employers were fully prepared to restart operations, survey finds

Liberals table proposal for expanded Commons COVID-19 meetings, summer sittings

OTTAWA — The Liberals have tabled a proposal that would see expanded… Continue reading

Most Read