Rezoning approved for first phase of new subdivision

There was little discussion on plans for The Vista in Ryders Ridge subdivision being proposed by Melcor Developments

There was little discussion on plans for The Vista in Ryders Ridge subdivision being proposed by Melcor Developments, during a public hearing at Monday night’s council meeting.

An outline plan for the quarter section, which is located immediately south of Ryder’s Ridge, bounded on the west by Highway 20 and the south by Memorial Trail, was approved by councillors.

They also passed second and third readings of two bylaws relating to the proposal. The first changed the South Area Structure Plan to fit with the developer’s vision for the area. The second amended the Land Use Bylaw and rezoned land for the first phase of development.

Phase 1 encompasses lands in the northwest corner of the subdivision abutting Crestview and Ryders Ridge. Included in this area will be R1A (Medium Lot Residential) and R5 (Narrow Lot General Residential) lots as well as public facility districts. The first phase also includes a stormwater drainage pond and a 10 acre school site which has been identified for an elementary school.

The amendments also addressed the issue of parallel parking on streets that have R5 lots with front attached garages and no lane access. The new requirements under this section relate to pairing up of driveways so that a lot with a driveway on its left side will be beside a lot with a driveway on its right side. The second requirement stipulates the minimum continuous front parcel boundary that must remain unobstructed by a driveway.

Since these new requirements would apply to the whole town, an exception was added so they don’t apply in the cottage area “north of the tracks between 46th and 33rd Streets”.

The first phase of the subdivision is expected to begin during the fall. The total subdivision, when completed, is proposed to have 713 homes and an estimated population of 1,760 people.

Councillor Sean McIntyre inquired if the school site was big enough. “The intent within our ten year capital plan is to build a community hub. An effective way to afford those amenities is by partnering with those (school) entities,” he said.

Tim Schmidt, director of planning and development, said they’d had that discussion with Chinook’s Edge and Red Deer Catholic school divisions and “they only see synergies with huge sites for high schools.” He suggested there’s a ten year window before a new high school is contemplated. An area in the southwest corner of town is proposed when the population reaches about 30,000 people.

The issue about incorporating roundabouts in the subdivision was raised by Councillor Laverne Asselstine who noted they were included in the Crestview outline plan which was reviewed earlier in the meeting.

The developers responded they looked at the possibility but there are issues such as parking and front access problems created for houses fronting the roundabouts.

“In essence it freezes access,” said Guy Pelletier of Melcor. Another issue with this particular subdivision was the grade of the property. It drops 40 metres from the south end to the north end.

He added since the town doesn’t have a standard yet for traffic circles they didn’t include one in the subdivision.

At that point councillors directed staff to look at incorporating roundabouts in the town’s design standards.

Then they unanimously passed the various bylaws to move the project forward, approved the outline plan and officially adopted the subdivision name as The Vista in Ryders Ridge.