Neighbours fear planning switch will boost industrial traffic

A new plan for Red Deer’s northernmost reaches changes a large area earlier proposed for housing into commercial and industrial use.

A new plan for Red Deer’s northernmost reaches changes a large area earlier proposed for housing into commercial and industrial use.

It’s a switch residents in the area aren’t happy with, said Gary Davis, who has lived on the C&E Trail for 25 years.

Davis and his neighbours fear that the already-increasing industrial traffic on the scenic winding road will only increase with the changes proposed in the city’s North of Hwy 11A Major Area Structure Plan.

“We call it the northern autobahn,” said Davis, at a Wednesday afternoon open house at the Quality Inn North Hill. “The speeds and the traffic have increased dramatically.”

The route is also popular with cyclists and hikers, and anything to encourage more industrial and commercial traffic should be avoided, he believes.

“It’s a safety thing.”

Not only trucks and couriers are a problem. Drivers looking for the adrenaline rush of speed and curved roads have already led to two vehicles and one motorcyclist ending up in the trees outside his home this year alone.

City of Red Deer master projects planner Angus Schaffenburg said several factors went into the switched land use just north of Hwy 11A and east of C&E Trail.

The city could use more commercial and light industrial land, he said. As well, CP Rail’s reluctance to see homes built up to its existing rail line along with changing safety and setback standards were considerations.

Safety would be considered before any new development was approved. Introducing more non-residential activity into the area would come with road upgrades, sidewalks and trails to keep pedestrians and vehicles apart.

The master plan envisions a large residential area mostly on the west side of C&E Trail to Hwy 2. Commercial and industrial zones will be located on both sides of Hwy 2A, an extension of current development patterns.

Hazlett Lake will remain a major park, but land considered for a regional community facility has been downgraded to a more neighbourhood-scale facility.

Holes still remain in the latest planning document. The possible land use area in a bend in the Red Deer River, opposite River Bend Golf Course and Recreation Area, remains undetermined.

Schaffenburg said flood hazard mapping will need to be done before a use can be proposed.

“What’s the river going to do in 50 years? How can we mitigate against what climate change might do?” he suggested as questions that experts will need to answer.

Similar work needs to be done around Hazlett Lake to determine its high water mark and what setbacks should be enforced.

How to deal with future development around a long-abandoned 1960s-era landfill north of Hazlett Lake is also under review.

About 40 people, many of them developers or their consultants, attended the afternoon session.

Schaffenburg said developers will drive the building process in the area and they have already shown considerable interest.

It is expected the plan will go to council by November or December.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Canada prepares as WHO decides whether to declare global coronavirus emergency

Canadian public health agencies are ramping up preparations to deal with the… Continue reading

New virus could trigger travel sector woes akin to damage from SARS in 2003

MONTREAL — A deadly new virus that emerged in China is raising… Continue reading

Switzerland mints world’s smallest gold coin

BERLIN — No joke: Switzerland has minted a gold coin so small… Continue reading

Survey finds support among Canadians for broader assisted-dying law

OTTAWA — As the federal government moves to revise the law on… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Jan. 22 Downtown House Senior Center (5414 43 St.) in Red Deer… Continue reading

CFL to stage Toronto-Saskatchewan regular-season contest in Halifax

The CFL is returning to Halifax. A CFL source says the league… Continue reading

Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris closes in on White’s X Games medal record

Mark McMorris is on the verge of Winter X Games history. Winning… Continue reading

Aerosmith drummer loses bid to rejoin band for Grammy honours

BOSTON — A judge has told Aerosmith’s drummer Joey Kramer to dream… Continue reading

Canadian superstars Shawn Mendes and Drake among nominees at the Grammys

TORONTO — From Shawn Mendes to Drake, the line-up of Canadian nominees… Continue reading

Gardening: Purchase seeds that fit your values and budget

Spring is only a few months away and it is time to… Continue reading

Ottawa pledges to match funds raised for families of Iran plane crash victims

TORONTO — The federal government promised Wednesday to match all contributions to… Continue reading

Union fined for violating court order in Regina refinery labour dispute

REGINA — A judge has fined a union that represents more than… Continue reading

Most Read