This is a graphic of one of two apartment buildings proposed in a Normandeau neighbourhood. Photo from City of Red Deer

Normandeau apartment development approved

Developer hopes to build two apartments near Normandeau School

Normandeau could get a significant residential boost.

The municipal planning commission approved by a 3-2 vote a development permit for the construction of two four-storey apartments off Norquay Street near Normandeau School. The apartments would join four others on the site.

Some neighbours in the area voiced their objection to the project, arguing it would create traffic and parking problems and was too big a development for the area.

City planners recommended approval of the project, noting additional parking and access points would be created. Planners also pointed out the building heights and sizes fit the Land Use Bylaw and are in keeping with the city’s vision for increasing density in neighbourhoods.

The site where the new buildings will go is under-utilized, say planners, who added the project will help the community remain sustainable.

City planning manager Emily Damberger said the project fit the development guidelines the city has developed for neighbourhoods more than 15 years old. When reviewing proposed developments, planners look at the “street context,” such as the heights of nearby buildings, landscaping privacy and zoning.

“Those are the sorts of things to try to make the new development to fit in best as it can with an old neighbourhood, to make it compatible.”

Damberger said the apartment project was a scaled-down version of a five-storey twin apartment development that was rejected by the planning commission last year. Only minor variances on landscaping and amenities were sought.

Coun. Buck Buchanan voted against the project because he felt it was an “over-intensification” of the neighbourhood, a view shared by a pair of residents who spoke against the development.

“I did struggle with it a bit as I liked the infill and the increase in density, but it was just to much for me,” Buchanan said in an email Thursday.

Buchanan said he also felt the building’s height might be an issue, although the Land Use Bylaw does not define what the height of a storey is, he added.

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