(File photo by Jeff Stokoe, Advocate staff)

Rural rezoning refused by Red Deer city council

Site is unsuitable for housing, council concludes

A proposed rezoning for a rural housing development north of Red Deer was nixed by council on Tuesday because the location was ill-suited.

Neither Red Deer city administrators nor councillors thought it was a good idea to allow more residences to crop up on 2.43 hectares of annexed land that’s designated for industrial development — and is also near a rail line, the city’s wastewater treatment plant and an old landfill.

The proposed rural acreages in the Chiles Industrial Area would have contained two existing homes (which were grandfathered in), as well as four future homes if the residential subdivision was allowed.

But the proposal by Norman Chiles was voted down by council before it was given first reading. Although Councillors Frank Wong, Ken Johnston and Tanya Handley favoured giving the developer a chance to make his case in person, the majority of council felt it would be pointless, since the proposal faced so many obstacles.

Among them was that the homes would have been within 300-metres of an old landfill — and provincial regulations forbid residential development within this proximity. It also would have been on an escarpment and the city does not support building on top of a potentially unstable slope. CN Rail also did not favour the housing development near its rail line.

Mayor Tara Veer was among those objecting to allowing more residences to abut industrial land, saying city staff have spent too much time over the years trying to resolve problems between conflicting developments “at great effort and expense.”

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