Next phase of Red Deer’s Clearview commercial development balances walk-ability, parking spots

Public hearing on Melcor’s plan held May 27 at city hall

Planners are trying to strike a better balance between creating walkability and accommodating Red Deer’s car culture in the second phase of the Clearview Market Square commercial complex.

The planning document for the development in the southwest corner of 67th Street and 30th Avenue — which received initial approval from Red Deer city council this week — allows for a motor vehicle service or repair business (excluding sales) as a discretionary use.

It also contains more proximate parking stalls for existing stores and restaurants.

But it does not continue with the previous Phase 1 design of creating a narrow street-like corridor of retail outlets and eateries on both sides, with nose-in parking stalls in front.

The city’s senior planner, Orlando Toews, said this particular Phase 1 feature fuelled some complaints about not enough close-by parking for some of the outlets.

“Numerically, there was sufficient parking,” but proximity was an issue for some people, he added.

Toews feels Melcor’s Phase 2 plan addresses this concern by providing more space for parking around future buildings, while still maintaining walkability within the overall site.

The plan for the large wedge of land that was gained after a traffic circle was built at the corner of 67th Street and 30th Avenue, still provides consistency with Phase 1, in terms of landscaping, sidewalks and building design, Toews noted.

A Clearview Ridge car wash owner, who had trouble getting his business approved by the city on Carleton Avenue some years before, sent the city a letter objecting to now having competition potentially cropping up a few blocks away.

Toews said planning decisions can’t be based on competition. As to why car-oriented businesses are OK for the area now, but weren’t considered appropriate back then, Toews said Clearview Ridge was planned more than a decade ago, and considerations change with various factors over time.

Motor vehicle service and repair would only be allowed as a discretionary use along the outer periphery of the development, along the major corridors. These businesses could be integrated into the rest of market square with landscaping and sidewalks that link with area trails, said Toews.

He believes current tenants of Clearview Market Square like the Phase 2 plan. A public hearing will be held May 27.

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