Springbrook development plan raises concerns

Some residents concerned about re-opening a road closed to crack down on property crime in area

A proposal to reopen a rural road to create a second access to Springbrook is ringing alarm bells among residents.

In a Major Area Structure Plan for Springbrook a second access route to the community is suggested along Range Road 281 and Township Road 374, which was closed by the county in response to residents’ concerns about break-ins.

County resident Daryl Frenette said he and his neighbours worked with the municipality to make their area more secure and don’t want to see the route opened up again.

“We’ve gone from one of the busiest hot spots in Red Deer County to zero,” he told county council on Tuesday at a public hearing for the new area structure plan.

There are also concerns that Township Road 374 is ill suited to the amount of truck traffic it will draw and will create a dangerous intersection at Hwy 2A.

Frenette proposed that council hold off on making a decision on the transportation portion of the area structure plan until after the October municipal election. A new council could then take a look at the issue.

County resident Todd Simenson also questioned the proposal to create a curved road connecting Range Road 281 to Township 374 to funnel traffic to the C&E Trail to the west. The natural flow of traffic is to the east and the road link as proposed raises concerns about traffic volumes and safety.

Coun. Philip Massier said he would support second reading for the area structure plan but not third and final reading, a position echoed by other councillors.

“I think we really have to look at those transportation concerns before we allow for more and more development,” he said.

Coun. Connie Huelsman also questioned the proposal to re-open the road closed because of property crime issues. It would “open another can of worms” on the crime prevention front, she suggested.

Something needs to be done about the existing intersection at Hwy 2A and Township Road 372, she said.

“It’s amazing there are not a lot more accidents there than there is.”

Mayor Jim Wood agreed that Springbrook needs a second entry point.

“Definitely, we realize we have a very bad intersection going into Springbrook from Hwy 2A,” said Wood.

That area structure plan tries to address the need for another access, but Wood agreed more time is needed to ensure the right route is picked.

pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

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