A request from Chinook’s Edge School Division to sell a portion of the land at the River Glen School site which would be developed into housing has been turned down by City council.
Council voted against the request Monday night after hearing from Waskasoo community members.
The plan proposed 16 single-family residential dwellings on 43 Ave. and three single-family homes on a portion of 59 St. The purpose of the sale of land would be so that Chinook’s Edge could liquidate the land and put the money towards their capital needs.
Pierre Oberg, president of the Waskasoo Community Association said residents in the area had a number of concerns regarding the proposed development.
“We are primarily opposed to this because there is no Area Redevelopment Plan in place. There is also pushback because of the uniqueness of the Chinook’s Edge property and there are environment concerns as well,” he said.
Councillor Tara Veer said she was opposed to the proposal.
“Whatever the development is has to be in context of an area redevelopment plan and vision for the area. I’m very wary of moving on a plan where there is divisiveness,” she said.
Mayor Morris Flewwelling said an area redevelopment plan is “absolutely vital for this area.”
The proposal was unanimously defeated.
Colleen Butler, Chinook’s Edge School Division board chair said she is disappointed in council’s decision.
“We’re not comfortable just leaving it sit. This is a capital asset for us and we have many capital projects that we need to work on. We need to move forward with this so we are going to look at ways to move forward,” she said. “We are very disappointed with the decision. This has been in the works for over five years and we were given assurance at one point that this was a go-ahead and now it’s not a go-ahead and now we need to look at other methods of pursuing this the best that we can.”
She added there is some urgency to move on this matter because River Glen School will be transferred to Red Deer Public Schools in 2014.
“We don’t have a lot of time. Red Deer Public is wanting to move on this as well. They need ownership of the River Glen School so we need to move as quickly as possible on this,” said Butler. “We would like to work with the community as much as we can and the City as well as Red Deer Public to come up with the best solution that we can.”