A plan has been set in motion to rebalance Red Deer’s growth by creating future neighbourhoods in the northwest of the city.
About 249 acres north of Edgar Industrial Park will become the new Hazlett Lake multi-neighbourhood area over the next decade or two.
Conditional approval was granted by the city’s municipal planning commission this month, kick-starting work under an area structure plan that received the green light from city council last November.
But development in this northwest corner of the city can’t start soon enough for Red Deer city councillor Frank Wong.
He’s long maintained that south Red Deer gets more attention than the city’s northside.
Even if servicing for the Hazlett Lake area is not done today, “I’d like to get all the approvals in place,” said Wong.
He fears Red Deer could be losing residents to Penhold, Sylvan Lake or Blackfalds because there aren’t new lots available close to their employment in the Queen’s Business Park or Edgar Business Park.
Stantec Consulting is still working with city engineers on Hazlett Lake servicing plans before they go before city council, and Wong said he’d like this process “to move along.”
The timing of this development will largely be determined by the demand for new housing lots, said Orlando Toews, senior planner for the City of Red Deer.
According to a description in the Hazlett Lake Neighbourhood Area Structure Plan, conducted by Stantec, “a great community that highlights an urban lake and provides connections to areas where residents can be active, learn, grow and connect with their neighbours” will be built.
The Hazlett Lake development “will balance the historic residential growth in southeast Red Deer and set the tone for future developments in the northwest.”
A proposed map for the area, named for the Hazlett family that settled on this land, shows a major park and green space around the lake.
Discussions with some local ecologists led to an understanding that the shoreline be left in a natural, undeveloped state.
Since this is to be mostly a future housing development,“with strong connections to the adjacent water body of the same name,” a large residential swath is planned between Hazlett Park, which surrounds the lake, and Highway 2.
A smaller commercial corner is planned in the southeast at Highway 11A and C & E Trail.
Work to start creating a stormwater system for future development north of Highway 11A and east of Highway 2 is slated for this year.
The neighbourhood area structure plan states the Hazlett Lake development will set the tone for all future developments in northwest Red Deer.