West Park redevelopment plan alters neighbourhoods’ character

The West Park Redevelopment Pan proposed by the City looks pretty good on the surface until you dig a little deeper into its actual game plan.

The proposal’s overly optimistic vision is a future plan for this neighbourhood that has the supposed support of all stakeholders; including residents, property owners and the City of Red Deer. One of the stated objectives of the plan is to maintain the character-defining feature of this area of West Park which is predominantly composed of single-family homes. However, the plan would allow changes that would permit and presumably encourage the removal of 195 single-family dwellings in West Park. The number represents 21.6% of the entire total of single-family houses in West Park and their destruction would ensure a permanent and irreversible change in the neighbourhood.

Another part of the plan to convert two areas in West Park that are currently green space into possible high-density housing, presumably because the City believes that the neighbourhood has too much green space. The affected areas include a green belt south of West Park Middle School adjacent to 32 St. and an area known as Store Hill that is located behind the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at 36 St. and 57 Ave. and south of West Park Shopping Centre. Store Hill has been in the line of development fire during previous City proposals to remove it in favour of high-density housing.

The big question is whether you want to see a huge change in West Park while the City shifts it from a primary single-family neighbourhood with plenty of green space into a high density neighbourhood that will completely alter the character of West Park as we currently know it. Are you prepared to accept the City’s future vision for your neighbourhood?

This proposal will completely change the way we live in West Park and you have an opportunity to let the City know how you feel about these radical changes to our neighbourhood. If you do not like the City’s proposed future vision for our neighbourhood, then you absolutely need to let the mayor and council know how you feel about their proposal. You can contact City Hall at 403-342-8111 to get contact information for the mayor and council. You will also want to attend the public hearing about this very important issue when the City announces it.

I would strongly suggest that you act on this situation while you still have a voice in the matter because the future of your neighbourhood as you know it literally depends upon you.

Dale Reid

Red Deer Express

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