A delay in completing a major residential project in Vanier Woods has created a headache for the developer.
Mason Martin Homes received site development approval from Red Deer’s municipal planning commission in 2007 to build 38 townhouse units at 150 Vanier Dr.
A second phase was to add a three-storey condominium on the southeast corner of the lot.
The townhouses were built and sold, but when Mason Martin Homes recently applied to the city for site development approval for the condo project, it was told the remaining land is not big enough to meet the minimum site area or landscaping requirements set out in Red Deer’s land use bylaw.
This week, the city’s municipal planning commission considered the matter.
It heard that significant relaxations are needed for Mason Martin Homes’ project to satisfy the bylaw’s requirements, and that administration is recommending that the application be refused.
Hugh MacBeth, president of Mason Martin Homes, explained that the townhouse phase included a large park area that more than satisfied the land and landscaping requirements for the combined area.
But when the townhouse land was subdivided from the condo land in 2008, this changed.
“The two parcels have to be treated as two parcels, even though on the surface, or geographically, they appear to be together,” pointed out city development officer Martin Kvapil.
MacBeth said he would have kept a portion of the townhouse park area with the condo land had he realized this.
He added that the downturn in the economy slowed the sale of the townhouse units and led to a delay in the condo project.
“It’s really unfortunate that I should be faced with this right now, because I did put in a large enough park to accommodate everything, and I have plenty of landscaping.”
MacBeth added that the combined project’s layout is essentially the same as a similar townhouse and condo development that Mason Martin Homes previously built in Inglewood.
He also pointed out that he has a letter from the condominium association representing the townhouse owners indicating that it does not object to the condo project.
The commission decided to table the application for up to two weeks so that it can consider that letter and other information related to the application, and for MacBeth to discuss the issue further with administration.