Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff Applicant Singh Manhani (second from right) left a public hearing disappointed after Red Deer city council rejected his proposal for a temporary outdoor vehicle storage site off C & E Trail.

Noise, traffic concerns sink an outdoor vehicle storage proposal for north Red Deer

Applicant said he’s considering an appeal

After hearing neighbours’ traffic safety and noise concerns, Red Deer city council unanimously rejected a proposal for a temporary RV and equipment storage yard south of the Central Park subdivision.

Disappointed applicant Singh Manhani said he’s considering appealing because this decision doesn’t make sense.

He noted his proposal to temporarily store up to 100 recreational vehicles and up to 10 trucks or units of larger equipment was proposed for land off C & E Trail that’s zoned for future urban development.

Manhani pointed out noise and traffic will only be exacerbated for Central Park residents once any kind of permanent development goes ahead at 10-39063 C & E Trail.

But half a dozen residents from the Central Park neighbourhood near Hazlett Lake spoke against approving an outdoor storage yard for three-year increments at a Monday public hearing, citing everything from aesthetic to safety and rising crime concerns.

Dave Yakimetz, president of the community association, said the proposed yard would actually be a wide expanse, comprising of three acre and five acre parcels, with two separate entrances. “That’s a lot of area” — and it abuts a wetland, he added, with possible environmental ramifications.

Yakimetz noted C & E Trail is narrow, with no shoulders. He said having large RVs and trucks turning onto Manhani’s property would impede on-coming traffic, potentially creating a safety problem. “They would have to swing out into the other lane to get in.”

Les Gostola feared the yard would attract more rural crime, while Gary Davis spoke of noise complaints now going unaddressed by the city. Howard Kathol expressed concerns about the stored vehicles creating an unpleasant view.

Manhani defended his proposal, saying he was open to working with the city to create either one or two safe entrances into a tidy yard that he would develop himself. He’s a mechanical engineer.

He said his proposed storage facility would be gated, have security cameras, and contain trailers, boats, trucks, forklifts and sea cans — but no toxic or combustible materials or large, heavy oilfield or farming equipment.

But Coun. Tanya Handley was among those concerned about the coming and going of 100 RVs, noting owners could take these vehicles out for a weekend of camping and then bring them back into storage.

Coun. Vesna Higham was uncomfortable with the “unknown” machinery that could be stored there. Coun. Ken Johnston questioned putting a storage yard beside “an isolated rural community,” asking, “to what end?”

Coun. Frank Wong believed the proposed zoning bylaw could be amended to make it work, but given the rest of council’s concerns, he said it’s a moot point. (Councillors Dianne Wyntjes and Buck Buchanan were absent.)

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