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City of Red Deer

City has to close all recreation facilities

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From the City of Red Deer

City of Red Deer closes recreation and culture facilities amidst COVID-19

All City of Red Deer operated recreation and culture facilities will temporarily close to the public to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) effective at closing time of each facility today, Sunday, March 15, 2020.The decision was made in alignment with Alberta Health’s recommendation to cancel all K-12 and post-secondary classes in the province and to promote social distancing and minimize the potential spread of COVID-19. There are no confirmed cases of the virus in Red Deer, according to Alberta Health Services, and the risk to residents remains low.

City facilities affected by the temporarily closures include:

  • Collicutt Centre
  • G.H. Dawe Community Centre
  • Recreation Centre
  • Michener Aquatic Centre
  • Servus Arena
  • Kinsmen Community Arenas
  • Kinex Arena
  • Setters Place at Great Chief Park
  • Intermediate School Site (Culture Services Centre)
  • All leased spaces within City operated recreation and culture facilities including food vendors, retail stores, and private recreation providers, will be closed. This does not include those spaces that have an external public access (i.e. Red Deer Public Library GH Dawe branch, Exalta Gymnastics and Red Deer Minor Hockey Association office).

In addition, Red Deer’s Northside Community Centre closed to the public today, Sunday, March 15, 2020, under direction from The YMCA of Northern Alberta. The City is in communication and sharing information with contractors operating City facilities (including Heritage Ranch, Bower Ponds, Red Deer Museum & Art Gallery and neighbourhood activity centres), however business decisions remain with the individual operators.

“This was a difficult decision, but it’s in the best interest of our residents and City employees,” said Karen Mann, Emergency Operations Centre Director with The City of Red Deer. “While we don’t know how long these closures will last, we want to assure residents and staff that our first priority is, and always will be, your health and safety. We will continue to be guided by the province’s public health officials in taking actions to protect the public.”

Other measures being taken by The City at this time include:

  • Continued activation of The City of Red Deer Emergency Operations Centre
  • Continued activation of The City of Red Deer call centre daily from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. for residents to make non-emergency inquiries about City services and policies (403-342-8111)
  • Enhanced cleaning and janitorial services in high traffic areas
  • Mandatory 14-day isolation period for City employees who are symptomatic and/or have returned from international travel after March 12, 2020.
  • Notifying customers affected by program cancellations at City facilities including fitness classes, swimming lessons, educational and cultural courses and childminding minding services.
  • Revised cancellation policies for passes, programs and room rentals. Details are posted at www.reddeer.ca.

Security and staff will remain on site at the closed facilities to support the management of the city assets.

In addition, the following City facilities remain open to the public at this time, however with potentially amended service levels.

  • City Hall and Professional Building
  • Sorenson Station and Red Deer Transit service
  • RCMP detachments

“Our staff are the backbone of what we do at The City of Red Deer and we are dedicated to supporting them in this time of uncertainty,” said Allan Seabrooke, City Manager. “During the next several days, we will ask some employees to step outside their regular duties and provide support in other areas or departments to help with the increased workload COVID-19 has placed upon us.”

Residents are reminded not to attend City facilities or any public facilities if they are feeling ill. Call Alberta Healthlink at 8-1-1 for non-emergency health information about COVID-19 and 9-1-1 only in the case of a life-threatening emergency or crime in progress.

The COVID-19 outbreak remains a fluid situation and information can change quickly and often. The City of Red Deer is prepared to make additional changes to policies as required in order to keep residents safe and reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Residents are urged to visit the Alberta Health Services website at www.ahs.ca for the most up to date information.

“Dad, is the Coronavirus going to make humans extinct?” Time to talk to our children!

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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City of Red Deer

City Council paving the way for more house suites, backyard suites, tiny homes, and duplexes

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Council adopts new Zoning Bylaw

At Monday’s regular City Council meeting, City Council passed second and third reading of the Zoning Bylaw 3357/2024, replacing the former Land Use Bylaw.

The goal of the Zoning Bylaw is to reduce red tape, permit more uses in each zone and improve ease and understanding of the document. Notable updates include:

  • Reduction from 11 residential districts to 9 zones
  • Reduction from 7 commercial districts to 6 zones
  • Reduction from 5 industrial districts to 3 zones
  • More permitted uses in each zone
  • More gentle density options to provide increased housing options, including house suites, backyard suites, tiny homes, and duplexes
  • Increased building heights to 12.5m that considers sightlines and privacy of existing dwellings
  • Greater flexibility for development applications
  • Expanded definitions
  • Reduction of duplex side yards, removal of side yard setbacks on corner lots, and reduced frontage in residential narrow lots to improve competitiveness
  • New regulations to gently transition existing neighbourhoods to maintain character

Following adoption of the Zoning Bylaw, the following amendments were made by City Council.

Proposed Amendment Public Hearing Date 
Increase suites from 15% to 25% of the houses in a neighbourhood.   June 24, 2024
Allow commercial uses on the main floor of R-H Residential High Density.   June 24, 2024
Correct errors in the PS Public Service Zone use list: (*Recommended) a) Gaming and Gambling Establishment (Only at the Westerner) b) Education Primary & Secondary – Add to discretionary use list   May 27, 2024
Returning the Cannabis Retail Sales setbacks to be consistent with the current Land Use Bylaw 3357/2006   May 27, 2024

“The new Zoning Bylaw incorporates years of public feedback and best practices to make a Zoning Bylaw that will result in more housing options, easier development, and ultimately will improve our competitiveness,” said David Girardin, Major Projects Planner. “With the approval of the Zoning Bylaw today, we are not finished our community engagement as there will be future public hearings on potential amendments in the coming weeks, as well as more formal public participation for each additional phase of the Zoning Bylaw.”

The Zoning Bylaw will come into effect in 30 days. Public participation for phase two of the Zoning Bylaw will begin later this year. For more information, visit engage.reddeer.ca.

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City of Red Deer

City says Red Deer residents impressed by changes to snow and ice control program

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City Council reviews pilot snow and ice control program

This past winter, The City of Red Deer piloted changes to the snow and ice control program that focused on restoring mobility sooner and providing safe, accessible and well-maintained transportation infrastructure for all.

Major changes included 24/7 operations for residential street clearing, increased traction control throughout the city, additional sidewalk, trail and staircase clearing, and decreased timelines for bus stop clearing. On Monday City Council reviewed the 2023-24 snow and ice control operational report which outlined the pilot’s successes and challenges, as well as the learnings and opportunities for improvement.

“Overall, our more responsive approach to snow and ice control resulted in better mobility for motorists and pedestrians, and a greater quality of winter road maintenance,” said Greg Sikora, Manager of Parks and Public Works. “Of the many successes of the pilot program, the community was most pleased with the noticeable improvement in traction control and our ability to clear Green Routes within six days, thanks to moving Green Route plowing to 24/7 operations.”

Improvements to pedestrian, cyclist and motorist transportation networks include:

  • Increased presence and effectiveness of pre-treating, plowing, and sanding on major arterials, hills and bridges, with two and four-hour traction control equipment cycles,
  • 5 locations of staircase clearing,
  • 43 km of neighbourhood asphalt trails cleared after each snowfall,
  • Inclusion of second side sidewalks (9 km)
  • 635 transit stop clearing: 61 high priority cleared in 1 day, 153 medium priority cleared within 3 days, an additional 421 supplemental stops cleared within 7 days.

Throughout the pilot program, The City connected with the community to get feedback on operations including regular check-ins with the Engaged Citizens Group, two broad public surveys, a transit rider survey and the Citizen Satisfaction Survey.

Overall, citizens felt arterial roadways, hills and bridges were adequately maintained, and were satisfied with the Green Route plowing operation, with little concern raised about nighttime operations and 24/7 parking bans. Residents reported a prominent level of satisfaction with the additional mobility of trails, sidewalks and staircases, and there was improved public awareness of snow clearing programs.

Additionally, a noticeable improvement in adherence to the parking ban resulted in less than 100 tickets being issued this year. Complaint call volumes and service requests for traction control also trended downward this year.

“While we’ve received positive feedback from the community, we know there is always room for improvement. Our greatest challenges to the snow and ice control program remains the variability of weather, pivoting operations from a plow based program to a traction control focus and choosing the right time to execute Green and Grey Route plows,” said Manager Sikora.

In June 2023, Council adopted the revised Integrated and Accessible Transportation Policy (IAATP), which focuses on providing the community with mobility services based on four guiding principles: safe, accessible, well-maintained and accountable.

City Council will consider the future level of service at the May 27 City Council meeting.

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