A small parkette in Red Deer’s Eastview neighbourhood could be turned into multi-family housing — or a “living labyrinth.”
Right now it’s just a grassy lot at 3733-45th Street. But Red Deer city council will be contemplating a re-zoning of this 1,148-square-metre city-owned property to R-2, or medium density residential later this year.
Emily Damberger, planning manager for the City of Red Deer, said this could allow for a duplex or townhouse development. While R-2 zoning could also clear the way for a three-storey apartment building, she believes the lot is too small for the needed parking space.
The rezoning is being considered at the request of the city’s Land and Economic Development department. Damberger said several inquires were received from potential developers, but there’s no specific development proposed for this Eastview corner at this time.
The lot has been zoned as a parkland since the 1950s. But there are no benches, shrubs or play structures on it. Damberger said she still needs to research its history. A neighbour told her there had once been a playground on it, but it was removed years ago.
Meanwhile, native Red Deerian Heather Morigeau is soliciting public support through a Facebook post to create a living labyrinth, or hedge-like maze in this parkette.
Her proposal to the city shows a circular, winding concrete pathway and benches, as well as a maze of berry bushes. She explained in her proposal, “A labyrinth is a meditative walking path which has been studied and found to provide neurological benefits” to users.
The maze would be designed like a First Nations medicine wheel and be bordered by fruit and nut trees. Morigeau suggested the grass be replaced by clover or wildflowers to require less maintenance.
She opposes medium density, or apartment development in this older part of Eastview when much of Capstone in the downtown is already zoned for this and is still largely sitting empty. Morigeau argues that more green space is needed in this area for quality of life. The nearest parks are at the surrounding schools, several blocks away.
Damberger isn’t aware of any letters that have come in supporting or opposing the maze.
The deadline for landowner comments about the proposed rezoning was on Friday. She expects the matter to come before city council before the end of the year.