Time for north development to soar

  • Jul. 2, 2014 4:29 p.m.

The City of Red Deer is going through the preliminary stages of a major area structure plan for north of Hwy. 11A.

They will hold open houses and make presentations and hopefully have the third reading by March 2015.

How often do we get a chance to help chart a development course in the City involving 3,000 acres, with a lake to boot?

There will be industrial, commercial and residential development. We have a current deficit in residential lots and are now seeing a decrease in residential building permits, losing business to Blackfalds.

Now we have an opportunity to open up about a 1,000 acres with 7,000 lots for over $2 billion dollars in construction and the additional property tax revenues. But that is not the exciting part.

Red Deer south has the Westerner, the Collicutt Centre, but Red Deer North would have a lake.

A lake bordered by Hwy. 2 on the west, Hwy. 11A on the south and the extended Taylor Dr. on the east.

Of course we could create a gated community and isolate the lake for the chosen few or we could expand on it for all of Red Deer.

The options are limitless – swimming, beaches, picnics, paddle boarding, kayaks, canoeing, sailboats, paddle boats, trout pond, swim meets, fishing, ice fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, underwater photography, skating, skiing, camping – it just boggles the mind.

Add in playgrounds, trails, tracks, splash parks, shelters, gyms, pools, diving tanks, climbing walls, rinks, hot tubs and you got the ultimate ‘staycation’ right in City limits.

A Collicutt North Centre to match its very popular southern counterpart.

This could be an economic driver as who wouldn’t want to live near a lake with all the facilities. We have to start now to convince the City to develop in the north like they did in the south 20 years ago.

The lake could be built right, from the beginning, as a tourist destination, as a sports destination, as a natural learning area or as ‘the place to go’ vacation spot for an hour, an afternoon or longer.

If we let this pass us by, when would we get another chance to build on what is already there?

We could build it so every driver on Hwy. 2 could see it like the Sports Hall of Fame, and draw their attention to a well-equipped recreational area.

The last generation fought to build the Collicutt Centre, now it is time for this generation to make its mark, and it is time for the residents of north Red Deer to have facilities of this magnitude in their side of town.

Collicutt Centre was a battle, it took visionaries, it took determination to get it built but it is used the most of all comparable facilities.

I am sure there are visionaries who learned from the Collicutt construction, who can offer insight but I do believe the time is now to tell the City what we should do with our lake.

Phone, write, or email the City councillors, managers or staff what you think should be done with the land north of Hwy. 11A and of course ‘the lake’.

Garfield Marks

Red Deer