Townhouse development green-lit by MPC

Given the go-ahead by Municipal Planning Commission, Avalon Central Alberta will now move ahead with plans for a 155-unit townhouse development for Red Deer.

MPC gave the okay after tabling the project for several weeks citing a lack of detailed information.

To be located at 30 Carleton Ave., planners say Verde in Clearview Ridge is aimed at those looking for entry into the housing market who don’t wish to go the apartment condo route.

“Market-wise, there is little out there to meet the niche that these homes will meet,” said Trevor Gamelin of Avalon Central Alberta. “We’re really trying to cater to the market that can’t get into home ownership right now.”

The units will ultimately be priced at an average of $235,000.

There had also been concerns about the relative density of the project. But Parkland Community Planning Services indicated the amount of proposed clustering on the site was warranted, and the department supported the project because there are significant public spaces and amenities located in developments directly to the east and west.

Verde in Clearview Ridge also has “strong pedestrian connections to both of these developments via the proposed main road and the west lane connection. Each unit also has its own backyard, which adds an extra level of amenity space for residents of the development.”

There had been criticism that the townhouses weren’t accessible enough to those with disabilities, but Avalon reps said they were willing to customize townhouses upon request on an individual basis.

Buck Buchanan, MPC member, said the design and density of Verde in Clearview Ridge isn’t like past developments that Red Deer has seen.

But being a common site in bigger centres, it’s the right time for Red Deer to be developing more in the way of these types of projects, he said.

“I’m thinking now that we can see the bigger picture it’s not quite as bad as what people envisioned it could be,” he said. “What the people from Avalon are suggesting is an entry level area and for the neighbourhood and what we’re trying to do with it, it’s a good alternative.”

Similar projects have been built by Avalon in Calgary and Airdrie.

Paul Meyette, planning director for the City of Red Deer, said the project fits in well with the vision for the area.

“This one, we feel, not only has the parks, but amenities on site and the commercial area adjacent which also has a lot of parks. It’s going to make this a really neat area in which to live.