Property rezoned for private school, church at Spruce View

Red Deer County councillors unanimously passed a bylaw, following third reading, which would enable the construction

Red Deer County councillors unanimously passed a bylaw, following third reading, which would enable the construction of a private school and church, playground, and cemetery adjacent to Spruce View, during their Dec. 4 meeting.

Under the bylaw, nearly nine hectares (21.25 acres) of about 49 hectares (123.4 acres) will be re-designated as a Public Service District. Those nine hectares will be divided into two lots. The first will accommodate the future construction of a private school and church, a playground, and a parking lot. The second will be set aside for a cemetery.

Red Deer Valley Mennonite Church is behind the project. The project is to serve the Innisfail-based church’s 20 or so families.

A number of studies concerning water in the area are required before the development can begin. Spruce View’s water reservoir is near capacity, according to a county administration report, and may not be able to adequately protect the development from fire. The county’s operations department recommended a water servicing study to determine if the existing wells and reservoir can provide the necessary supply.

The development applicant has proposed using Spruce View’s water and sewer systems to service the school, and the county requires connection to both as a condition of approval. While the hamlet’s current sewer system has sufficient capacity, the water system needs to be increased before the development can be connected.

In recognition of a nearby stream which has previously flooded the surrounding area, the county recommends a flood plain assessment before development begins.

In addition, Alberta Transportation said a Traffic Impact Assessment may be required to identify if the development would impact highway safety and if intersection improvements are needed for the extra traffic the development would bring.

According to the administration report, few community members have commented on the development. Burnt Lake Gas Co-op is concerned with the development affecting their main gas pipeline, which runs through the area. A resident also sent a letter expressing concern for increased traffic and pedestrian safety.

First reading of the bylaw took place July 24, with second reading soon after on Aug. 21.

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