This map shows the nearly 340 acres the City of Red Deer has proposed annexing from Red Deer County. It is located north of Highway 11A on the west side of Highway 2. (Map from City of Red Deer)

Red Deer County approves in principle city land annexation bid

Red Deer hopes to annex 340 acres on west side of Highway 2 north of Highway 11A

Red Deer County council has approved in principle a bid by the City of Red Deer to annex nearly 340 acres.

The strip of farmland the city has its eye on runs down the west side of Highway 2 north of Highway 11A. It is the first time since 2009 that the city has proposed adding to its land base.

In its notice of intent to annex, the city says it has a limited land supply to accommodate mid-and long-term growth.

An intermunicipal development plan (IDP) between the county and the city recommends the city have at least a 30-year supply of land. Current estimates put the supply at just over 18 years.

“Provincial projections forecast the City of Red Deer will continue to grow for the foreseeable future due to its strategic location on the Edmonton-Calgary corridor,” says the annexation notice.

Adding 340 acres to the city land supply will not bring it up to the 30-year supply mark but is “intended to satisfy the immediate need for highway fronting commercial lands.

“The City of Red Deer currently has a deficiency and an immediate need for highway fronting commercial lands.”

The municipality has mostly built out to its western boundary and that has mostly been earmarked for residential and industrial development.

The two municipalities have already agreed to develop a new IDP to lay out a phased approach to annexation that will meet both municipalities’ goals. It has been 15 years since the last plan, which is reviewed annually, was negotiated.

Based on population and land demand projections, the city would have been justified in applying for a much larger annexation, the notice says.

However, given that city growth has slowed after years of rapid population increases, the city is “being financially prudent and is requesting to only annex lands for which it has an immediate need.”

County council’s unanimous approval in principle allows the annexation negotiation process to begin. There will also be landowner and public consultation, including the development of a web page to provide updates as well as advertising in local media and social media.

The city is proposing to hold an open house and will meet with individual landowners if requested.

Red Deer Mayor Ken Johnston said at a recent council meeting that the land is needed so the city can attract the sorts of large commercial projects that require highway frontage. He hoped the annexation process would be completed by fall 2023.



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City of Red Deer wants to annex nearly 340 acres of this land north of Highway 11A on the west side of Highway 2 (seen here from the north) to provide much-needed highway commercial land. A large wetland is located at the north end of the site. (Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff)

City of Red Deer wants to annex nearly 340 acres of this land north of Highway 11A on the west side of Highway 2 (seen here from the south) to provide much-needed highway commercial land. The road on the left serves the Linn Valley subdivision to the west. (Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff)