Changes to the development plan for Springbrook reflect the high hopes Red Deer County has for the community.
County council gave first reading on Tuesday to amendments to the Springbrook Major Area Structure Plan, which serves as a guide for future development.
Among the big changes is the addition of a proposed extension of Airport Drive to Township Road 374 and then to C&E Trail.
That link will provide a much-needed second access to the airport property, where a large amount of land is available for future development. Construction on the road is expected to begin this year and was made possible by the recent announcement that the province was investing $30 million into upgrading the airport to help it become a key hub for transportation and aviation-related businesses.
To reflect the upgrade, Township Road 374 will now be referred to as Airport Drive in planning documents.
In recognition of the expected growth the cash infusion will generate, an area that had been set aside for institutional use south of Airport Drive is being moved to the other side of the road that serves as the main entry into the community now.
“That will be a busy road,” said Ron Barr, the county’s long-range planning manager.
Springbrook Community Association also favoured keeping the land that might be the home of a future community centre north of Airport Drive so families were not crossing an increasingly busy thoroughfare to take part in local programs.
Under the revised plan, the land south of Airport Drive across from the residential part of Springbrook is slated for commercial and industrial use. A large green space will be maintained further to the west.
Springbrook had a population of 1,534, according to the Statistics Canada 2021 census. That is up slightly from the 1,506 counted in 2016, but considerably higher than the 1,076 tallied in 2011.
When fully built out, Springbrook could be home to 5,700 people, says the area structure plan.
A public hearing has been set for June 13 at Red Deer County Centre and then council is expected to consider second and third reading.