Red Deer apartment project opposed by some neighbours

Two buildings proposed for a site in Normandeau with existing four apartment complexes

A frustrated Normandeau resident says he’ll have to resort to selling his long-time home if an apartment project goes ahead across the street.

“I’m not going to live here with that monstrosity there,” said Don Schulz, who lives with his wife on Norquay Street, directly across from where one of two proposed apartments would be built.

Sylvan Lake’s Black Creek Developments wants to build 32- and 31-unit apartment buildings on a block of land already home to four other apartment buildings.

Schulz said this is the third time he and other residents have fought apartment building proposals on the site south of Norquay Street and bordered by Nordegg Crescent and Norton Avenue.

Black Creek proposed five-storey apartments last year, but it was turned down by the planning commission because it required a height relaxation.

In 1998, a proposal to build two 15-unit apartments did not get past the subdivision stage.

Schulz said unlike the existing apartments, which are at least 20 metres back from the street, the new building will be only about six metres from the edge of the property and will leave his yard in shade, especially in the winter months, when the sun is lower.

Residents also feel the development is just too big for the area, he said. It will add more traffic to already busy residential streets, that are often lined with parked vehicles from apartment residents.

The project will also greatly increase population density on the site, bringing in children when Normandeau School is already at capacity, residents fear.

Five letters of opposition voicing similar concerns were sent by neighbours to the City of Red Deer’s municipal planning commission, which will be dealing with the application at its Wednesday meeting.

Planners are recommending that the building be approved, pointing out that the development’s size, including the building height, is within Land Use Bylaw guidelines.

Developers intend to provide 230 parking spots, including 22 underground stalls, which exceeds the 226-stall requirement and will mean fewer vehicles parked on local roads, say planners.

The project fits the city’s vision for neighbourhood development, says the planning department report.

“In the case of the proposed site, the land is underutilized and an increase in density and infill development is encouraged by the city to ensure existing neighbourhoods remain sustainable,” says the report.

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