(Advocate file photo).

Inconsistent zoning on 59th Avenue dealt with by Red Deer city council

Re-developments should not exceed current density, council resolves

Red Deer city council has dealt with a hodgepodge of zoning on part of 59th Avenue, as well as complaints about congestion, by limiting the density of future developments.

The older avenue in north Red Deer is facing development pressures and is up for a zoning review.

Council was told some higher density developments along 59th Avenue, between 67th Street and 69th Street Drive, were not in compliance with current zoning requirements, as zoning was changed in the 1980s after the apartment buildings were built.

Although the existing zoning is for low-density, single-detached homes and duplexes along that strip, council opted to rezone the apartments into compliance at this week’s meeting.

A density cap will also be placed on properties along this portion of 59th Avenue once a land use bylaw amendment is approved by council early in 2020.

This means any future redevelopments will not be able to expand beyond what’s presently there. An apartment building can only be replaced by one with as many suites or fewer, and a duplex or single family home can only replace an existing duplex.

A study was done by the city looking at zoning, parking and traffic on this street. A city planner confirmed that a couple of applications have been received since 2016 from developers seeking to put up higher density buildings in place of the small apartments or four-plexes built on the street in the 1970s.

The transitional 59th Avenue divides commercial and industrial operations, including a gas station and mail sorting station to the west, from residential streets to the east.

Area landowners had asked the city to either reduce density or leave the housing mix as is, with no apartments higher than four storeys.


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