The question of whether to keep the option of someday extending Molly Banister Drive is yet again going before Red Deer city council on Monday.
A nine-hour public consultation process held in 2020 has not put the issue to rest.
Despite city council’s previous decision to keep the road allowance in future plans, Melcor Developments is bringing the matter back to city council for re-consideration next week.
And city administration is recommending council take the future road allowance out of its plans, allowing for this area to be developed.
Melcor Developments is now creating a new residential subdivision south of Sunnybrook, where the future road extension could potentially bisect.
To allow for better neighbourhood design, the developer wants to remove the Molly Banister Drive road extension and bridge across Piper Creek shown in the city’s long-term plans.
The public hearing was held on this matter two years ago but it did not go in Melcor’s favour.
Council had voted 5-3 to keep the road allowance in the city’s plans for a possible future Molly Banister extension. If the extension is eventually built, it would connect Bower Place Shopping Centre with 40th Avenue.
In 2021, Melcor received council approval to reduce the future road allowance from a larger arterial roadway to a smaller collector roadway.
But this fall, with several new councillors on city council, Melcor has again submitted an application before council to remove any future road allowance from the plans.
In response, the City of Red Deer hosted a public information session about the application. Out of 53 responses from area residents, the majority (62.3%) were in favor of removing the road extension and bridge from city plans, while 37.7% were in favor of keeping it in.
City council will decide whether to give this matter first reading on Monday. In a report going before council, administration is recommending the road extension and bridge be removed from city plans. This means the area could be developed without holding space for this road.
The Molly Banister Drive road extension and bridge have long been suggested as an option to alleviate some traffic pressures along 32 Street. It would not be considered for approximately 20-30 years when traffic levels may require it.
The discussion has been a recurring topic for many years. The Molly Banister Drive extension was first shown in city planning and transportation documents in the 1970s. The matter went to public hearings in 1996, 2003/04 and 2020.
If council gives Melcor’s application first reading on Monday, a public hearing will take place in the New Year.
More information can be found at www.reddeer.ca/mollybanister.