After 20 years and at least six proposals, zoning for a new housing development was finally approved for 22 Gunn St. in north Red Deer.
Red Deer city council gave the green light to an amended zoning bylaw on Monday to turn a piece of formerly forested land within the Glendale subdivision into a maximum of six R1 (regular-sized) lots for six single-detached homes.
This wasn’t what the developer wanted. Broder Developments of Lacombe most recently applied for a combination of R1 lots and R1G narrow lots to accommodate seven detached homes.
Developer Jonathan Jacobson was disappointed to get one less lot to sell.
As he paid a premium for land that was originally assessed for a higher-density building project, Jacobson said he won’t be able to turn a profit since he also has to pay for utilities to be installed on these lots.
While Glendale neighbours had argued their property values would be affected, “now the property value that’s most affected is mine,” he said.
Regardless, Jacobson said he respects council’s decision and will work with city staff to start the development this fall.
Red Deer city councillors felt their decision struck the right balance with what neighbours were willing to tolerate.
Coun. Ken Johnston noted residents had been hoping to get only four or five new houses on this land, so they have also had to accept a compromise.
Many development proposals for this land were made by various companies over the years, including an attempt to build a 48-suite apartment, 21 townhouses, and a mix of houses and townhouses.
Each time, residents living on or near Gunn Street complained about an increase in density and traffic in what they already consider a congested area, and the applications were refused by council.
At Monday’s public hearing, several Glendale residents again expressed concerns about more light and noise pollution, traffic and parking congestion.
While people living in single-family homes across from this open land had gotten used to having this “natural area,” it had always been slated for development.
But Coun. Vesna Higham said council stipulated as part of its zoning decision that a berm of trees remain standing on the property.
Whether a few trees need to be removed to accommodate construction can be discussed at the development stage, she added.