Lacombe looks at plans for subdivisions

Lacombe city council has approved an outline plan for a large- and medium-lot subdivisions between a pair of small lakes.

Lacombe city council has approved an outline plan for a large- and medium-lot subdivisions between a pair of small lakes.

A number of residents have expressed concerns at open houses about Shantro Developments plan to create 34 lots between Elizabeth and Anne Lakes, which are separated by a narrow wetlands in the north part of the city.

Rosemont Estates will be comprised of 10 large-lot single-family homes and nearby Bowett Ridge will have 24 medium-lot sites.

Some fear the homes will infringe upon natural areas in the 14.3-acre plan area.

In a letter to council, resident Dayton Thesenvitz called the area a “perfect little piece of Central Alberta Parkland.”

He’s concerned that natural grasslands will be threatened, runoff from properties will contaminate the lakes and a link between the lakes used by wildlife will be interrupted.

Others have expressed concern about additional traffic at a problematic intersection in the area.

Coun. Reuben Konnik said expressed his concern that the setbacks from natural areas weren’t big enough.

“It still makes me super nervous that it’s only a 15-metre setback,” he said, adding he’d like to see at least 20-metre setbacks.

Konnik said he didn’t want to see a repeat of the situation at Henner’s Pond, where residents came to the city for financial help after their land slumped towards the man-made pond.

City planner Jennifer Kirchner said before the area is rezoned for a subdivision a development agreement must be worked out with Shantro before rezoning gets final reading. Engineering studies and other background work must be completed to the city’s satisfaction.

A public hearing will also be required.

“That’s exactly the answer I was looking for,” said Konnik.

In its plan, Shantro says it plans to create vegetation buffer zones, preserve natural areas where possible, maintain the wildlife corridor between the lakes, pre-treat storm water runoff and undertake erosion control.

City planning staff support Shantro’s proposal for lower-density developments because of the “environmental and topographical challenges in the area and because the proposed densities align with the Natural Spaces Management Plan,” says a report to council.

About 33 per cent of the plan area will be maintained as environmental or municipal reserve.

The outline plan meets most city requirements. One exception is that it does not provide for multi-family housing, such as semi-detached, condominium or townhouse options.