Council hears more plans for Riverlands

  • Sep. 14, 2016 2:35 p.m.

Red Deer City council heard about more plans for the Riverlands area and tabled first reading of two bylaws in regards to the area.

Two bylaws were considered during Monday’s meeting which included the realignment of Alexander Way and the height of buildings on the former Electric, Light and Power site – both of which were concerns expressed during an open house held earlier this summer.

Administration’s recommendation in regards to Alexander Way is to realign the roadway with no redevelopment of the existing road right of way for a minimum of 10 years and to allow the height of buildings on the former Electric, Light and Power site be a maximum of eight storeys or 25.5 metres.

Council tabled both recommendations.

During administration’s presentation, council also heard three new districts will be included in the Riverlands area. The Riverlands Taylor Drive District will provide a commercial transition between historical downtown, the Red Deer Regional Hospital and residential area in Riverlands. The emphasis of uses include more intensive types of commercial and office uses than in the other Riverlands land use districts with the potential for residential uses.

The commercial district includes the area formerly known as Cronquist Park as well as lands further along 47th St. (Alexander Way), adjacent to the Riverwalk and an existing strip mall at the corner of 55th Ave. and 43rd St. New commercial uses within this district will compliment new and existing commercial and residential development in Riverlands. Existing businesses will be allowed to continue their use and will be able to apply for intensification and/or expansion as a discretionary use.

The primary residential district will accommodate a variety of multi-family housing forms and types in close proximity to commercial uses. Commercial uses within mixed-use developments contemplated in this district are compatible to the residential development.

Riverlands will also include three public squares – the Welcome Square, Cronquist Square and Riverwalk Square.

The vision for the Riverlands area is a vibrant, mixed use neighbourhood that capitalizes on the river as a major public amenity. It was first presented to council in 2000. Since then, development concepts including design elements, land use and zoning have been further refined in the proposed 2016 Riverlands Area Structure Plan.

“This doesn’t feel right to me yet,” said Councillor Buck Buchanan. “For me, it seems like we still are traffic orientated in here. We are going to get one chance to redevelop this and it seems to be vehicular run as opposed to people run.”

The item will be back for council’s consideration in four weeks.