Looking to the future, Red Deer County began work on creating a new commercial subdivision similar in style and location to Gasoline Alley.
The Junction 42 local area structure plan was approved at Tuesday’s council meeting. The plan creates a new commercial and industrial subdivision on the west side of the Hwy 2 and 42 intersection.
“Sometimes I say to people that there’s going to be another Gasoline Alley,” said Red Deer County Mayor Jim Wood. “It’s going to be just as good and we’re excited about it. It’s just going to be a little further south.”
It was approved unanimously after a public hearing. Concerns from nearby property owners Brad Holman and John Rivard centred around the traffic on Range Road 275 that the new subdivision would create.
Specifically their concerns were the increase to traffic on a road that isn’t suited for a significant increase.
Council approved the plan that would turn the 118 hectare (291.5 acres) into a major commercial and industrial area just off of Hwy 2 on the way into Penhold.
Coun. Phil Massier said that Range Road 275 isn’t the main road for the subdivision and a much larger road will be build off of Hwy 42 near the ramps to go onto Hwy 2. County Manager Curtis Herzberg said there will be triggers on Range Road 275 for how it will be adjusted for the new traffic. The longterm plan is to have two roundabout intersections on the range road as entry points into the subdivision.
The area of the subdivision along Range Road 275 is the third stage of the development.
Other concerns were raised by Alberta Transportation and ATCO. Alberta Transportation wanted road right-of-way setbacks adjusted in the plan, and they were increased. ATCO had no objections, but was also concerned about setbacks and road crossings.
Wood said the County also recognizes that the City of Red Deer will continue to grow and annex County land.
“We’re looking at things we need to do to make sure we’re successful and we can keep taxes low,” said Wood. “Today is a first step. We have a path and an area we can go to.”
Wood said the County has heard from County residents that there aren’t many commercial or industrial spaces available in their area. The hope is this new development helps provide more space for development in the County.