City speeding up plans to tackle erosion in Riverview Park

One city neighbourhood is slowly sinking into the Red Deer River.

One city neighbourhood is slowly sinking into the Red Deer River.

On any given year between 150 mm to 650 mm of slope along the riverbank in the Riverview Park residential area disappears into the river.

There is no imminent risk to Heritage Ranch and the 22 homes along the north side of Cronquist Drive. But on Monday the city moved up its plans by two years to protect the riverbank from continued regression.

Elaine Vincent, director of development services, told council that Riverview Park has the unique honour of having a very active slope because of the continuous regression of the toe of the slope based on the river’s course.

Riverview Park was annexed from the County of Red Deer in 2009 and is currently regulated under county zoning. It has not yet been integrated into the city’s land use bylaw due to risk to homes in the area and the need for detailed study of the slope.

Administration is currently working on a bylaw amendment to bring the area within the city’s land use bylaws.

Following a 2012 geotechnical report, the city purchased and demolished two homes in 2013 that were revealed to be at immediate risk. The report also suggested using rip rap toe stabilization to mitigate the erosion. The estimated $6.3 million toe stabilization project was on the 2017 books.

After hearing Monday’s report from administration, council decided that this project was essential to protecting the slope and moved it to the 2015 capital budget subject to a secured funding plan.

Councillors reasoned the work was a long time coming and it needs to be done sooner than later.

Mayor Tara Veer said the timing is right to apply for funding under new provincial flood mitigation programs. Recently the city was turned down for one funding grant but will actively pursue others.

The first report, however, did not answer where the city should draw development lines. Property owners in the area were temporarily halted from developing or redeveloping on the land while the city pursued funding to stabilize the bank.

Vincent told council that residents raised concerns about the temporary suspension of development at two open houses in July.

“They were feeling a bit hostage while we tried to pursue funding,” she said. “They really wanted us to understand the impacts if that temporary development hold continued.”

Council agreed to a 50-year escarpment overlay and directed administration to pursue toe stabilization to mitigate the slope regression. This will provide an interim level of safety that will provide enough time for a funding strategy to be secured.

Once the funding is secured for the work, the city will remove the 50-year escarpment and permit development based on the new reality.

Councillors raised concerns about the effectiveness of toe stabilization. Vincent said there are examples of the work in Red Deer that have been successful for many years.

First reading of the amended bylaw is expected to come to council on Aug. 18.

Just Posted

Blackfalds firefighter battling cancer

A volunteer firefighter in Blackfalds for 15 years, Dave Sutherland now battling… Continue reading

Red Deer transit users are concerned about the future

But recreation centre users are glad facility hours were maintained

Community cardiac awareness dinner and show to be held

Continued focus to bring cardiac catheterization lab to Red Deer

Red Deer businesses react to 2.02 per cent tax increase for 2018

Chamber would prefer zero increase, while DBA thinks it’s reasonable

Bring on the rodeo says Red Deer County mayor

Canadian Finals Rodeo’s move to Red Deer good for whole region, says Red Deer County Mayor Jim Wood

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

RDC chosen to host 2019 men’s volleyball national championship

Sports enthusiasts in Red Deer will have more to look forward to… Continue reading

Police is still looking for Second World War army passport owner

No one has claimed a rare Second World War German army passport… Continue reading

DJ Sabatoge and TR3 Band kick off Sylvan Lake’s Winterfest 2018

Central Alberta’s youngest DJ will open for TR3 Band kicking off Town… Continue reading

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month