Potter’s Hands Ministries staying downtown

Potter’s Hands Ministries has preserved its place in downtown Red Deer for another 10 years, although the church’s pastor was praying for more time.

Potter’s Hands Ministries has preserved its place in downtown Red Deer for another 10 years, although the church’s pastor was praying for more time.

On Wednesday, the city’s municipal planning commission voted to allow Potter’s Hands to continue operating at 5202 53rd Ave. until Feb. 11, 2025. That’s an extension of the church’s original three-year approval, which expired on Feb. 8.

The church has seating for 275 and conducts a Sunday morning service and a smaller meeting on Wednesday evenings. It’s located in Red Deer’s Railyards district, a neighbourhood earmarked in the Greater Downtown Action Plan for development as a “vibrant mixed-use area with emphasis on high-density urban living.”

The location lacks the onsite parking required, but Potter’s Hands pastor Stan Schalk has arranged for members of his congregation to park at nearby Snell & Oslund Surveys, Safe Harbour Society and Bibles for Missions.

City administration recommended that the church be allowed to operate at the site for another 10 years, despite a suggestion from the Greater Downtown Action Plan Steering Committee that the extension be for only three years. The committee expressed concerns about its long-term impact on development in the Railyards district.

George Berry of Berry Architecture & Associates Ltd., which made the application on behalf of Potter’s Hands, argued that the approval shouldn’t include a time limit. He pointed out that the building’s use as a place of worship satisfies the intent of the Greater Downtown Action Plan, the Municipal Development Plan and other city planning documents.

Plus, said Berry, the commission recently authorized All Nations Harvest Church to operate nearby at 5237 54th Ave., with no time restrictions, despite the fact it’s also in the Railyards neighbourhood.

“We’re not quite sure why we have two different rules going for religious assemblies that are literally a stone’s throw apart.”

Schalk said a church would be a suitable use for the site, regardless of how and when the area is redeveloped.

“It’s always been good planing procedure to have churches on prominent corners.”

City planning manager Tara Lodewyk said it’s difficult to say when redevelopment of the Railyards district will occur, but a 10-year approval would allow investment to be made in the property while allowing the city to retain some control.

Coun. Lawrence Lee agreed that such flexibility is important.

“The reality of having a place of worship in this area is, I think, a good one. But we don’t know what’s going to happen … five, 10 years down the road.”

Janice Kong, a citizen representative on the commission, was the only member to vote against the resolution for a 10-year extension. She wanted a longer period, explaining that a church is a good use for the site.

The building dates back to 1959 and is owned by Potter’s Hands Ministries. It was previously used by Robco Cabinets.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

UPDATED: Economy and health care expected to be hot election topics

Premier Rachel Notley makes announcement on Tuesday morning

UK’s May asks EU to delay Brexit until June 30

LONDON — Prime Minister Theresa May formally asked the European Union on… Continue reading

Politicians hitting the road for votes in Alberta election campaign

EDMONTON — After firing up supporters at campaign kickoff events, the leaders… Continue reading

Central Alberta resident launches fantasy board game

Central alberta man launches Kickstarter for board game A central Alberta resident… Continue reading

Opinion: Let’s be heard ‘loud and clear’ during provincial election campaign

By David Marsden During the banquet for Sunday’s Boston Bruins alumni game,… Continue reading

Documentary on Colten Boushie case to open Toronto’s Hot Docs festival

TORONTO — A film examining the case of a young Indigenous man… Continue reading

Want to help bees? Plant flowering herbs

Herbs are among the most useful plants in nature. They can tantalize… Continue reading

UN: Gene editing for human reproduction is ‘irresponsible’

GENEVA — A panel convened by the World Health Organization said it… Continue reading

Photos: Three moose spotted in Red Deer Tuesday

Three moose were spotted in Red Deer Tuesday morning. Red Deer resident… Continue reading

Andreescu rockets to No. 24 in WTA Tour rankings after Indian Wells title

Canada’s Bianca Andreescu has rocketed to No. 24 in the WTA Tour… Continue reading

Canadian figure skaters looking to reach new heights at world championships

Nam Nguyen, Alaine Chartrand and Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro all have… Continue reading

Man linked to largest art heist in history freed from prison

HARTFORD, Conn. — A reputed Connecticut mobster who federal authorities believe is… Continue reading

Most Read