First steps were taken Monday to turn a long-vacant corner lot on Ross Street into a commercial development.
But what kind of development is still unknown.
Coun. Dianne Wyntjes acknowledged during Monday’s council meeting that the city’s process requires a rezoning hearing to be held first, before a development hearing can happen.
But a lot of neighbours would prefer the opposite — to first have an idea of what the development will be before deciding whether to support the rezoning.
“It’s a chicken and egg thing,” said Wyntjes, noting many people really want a final, big-picture view.
Before city council unanimously approved first reading for the commercial rezoning, Wyntjes, therefore, requested that the lot’s owners share more details about how they would like to develop this property at the July 10 public hearing at City Hall.
The weedy property on the southeast corner of Ross Street and 40th Avenue was a service station and car wash from 1986 to 2001. It has remained vacant since the service station was demolished.
Contaminated soil on the property was remediated in 2015. Since existing concentrations are now below commercial guidelines, City of Red Deer administration considers it acceptable to proceed with an application to create a commercial development on the property.
In June 2021, an applicant applied to rezone the lot to C4 Commercial (Major Arterial) District. The site now has R1 A duplex zoning, with a site exception that would allow for some auto-related services.
Based on feedback received from neighbouring property owners and an administrative analysis, it was determined that a C5 Commercial (Mixed-Use) District zoning would be a better fit for the property and surrounding area. The main reason is C5 would allow for a greater variety of residential-compatible uses.
According to a report to city council, the applicant supports the C5 rezoning and intends to apply for a commercial development on the site. No specific type of commercial use has yet been determined.