Poplar Ridge: Controversial subdivision clears another hurdle

A multi-lot subdivision some neighbours fear will jeopardize their water supply cleared another planning hurdle.

  • Sep. 8, 2016 9:15 a.m.

A multi-lot subdivision some neighbours fear will jeopardize their water supply cleared another planning hurdle.

Developer Reg Whyte plans to build a 39-lot country residential subdivision on 133 acres west of Poplar Ridge.

A number of residents from the nearby Poplar Ridge and Harvey Heights subdivisions oppose the project and a 267-name petition against it was submitted to council at an earlier planning stage.

Nine residents got up to the mic to express their concerns at a public hearing at Red Deer County Centre on Tuesday. Many in the area feel there shouldn’t be any more multi-lot developments allowed until a regional water and sewer line is in place.

Despite those concerns, council voted 4-3 in favour of second reading of a bylaw to rezone the property from agriculture to country residential. Final reading won’t go ahead until the necessary water and traffic studies and other technical background work is completed.

Darcy Kamieniecki told council he only gets one gallon per minute of water and his Poplar Ridge home and he’s worried a nearby development would reduce that further. Kamieniecki called on the county to insist the developer guarantee neighbours’ water supplies are not affected by the project.

Following the decision, Kamieniecki voiced his frustration that a project, which was turned down in 2007 because of water and sewer concerns, was now being supported.

“We still don’t have the infrastructure in place. What has changed now?”

Coun. Christine Moore, whose division includes the proposed development, voted against saying a regional water and sewer line needed to be in place.

“A shortage of water would pitch neighbour against neighbour and be very destructive and detrimental to the county,” she said.

Coun. Richard Lorenz voted in favour, pointing out the development was to be served by a communal water and sewer system and is much smaller than nearby subdivisions.

Also in support was Coun. Philip Massier, who said the project won’t be allowed to proceed if the science doesn’t back up the amount of water available and that other homes in the area won’t be affected.

Also voting in favour were Councillors Don Church and Connie Huelsman. Votes against came from Mayor Jim Wood and Coun. Jean Bota.