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City of Red Deer

City presses ‘pause button’ on search for homeless shelter location

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City Council to consider requesting provincial Expression of Interest (EOI) related to permanent shelter

A formal request for a provincial Expression of Interest (EOI) is being considered by City Council on Monday after City Council decided to cease site selection until more information is available from the Government of Alberta related to vision and operator.

The decision to cease site selection occurred in an open meeting of Council on Monday, May 18, 2024. Since that time, Mayor Ken Johnston met with the provincial government to talk about proceeding with the development of the shelter in a new way, potentially issuing an EOI.

This is a shift from focusing on site right now. An EOI would help gauge interest related to potential shelter operators in Red Deer. It would help ensure understanding about options for operators and models in advance of any further site considerations by City Council.

“We have heard from citizens, that it is difficult to support the location of a future shelter in Red Deer without understanding what it will be. Our community wants to understand what services a future shelter may provide and how it will fit with our community,” said Mayor Johnston. “We have been looking for a different way through this process, and issuing and EOI may help City Council and our community better understand what options exist related to operators and operating models. We want to understand the vision the Government of Alberta has for a future shelter in our city.”

In April, Mayor Johnston met with the Government of Alberta related to vision and operator. Minister Nixon, Minister Williams, MLA LaGrange, MLA Stephan and Mayor Johnston were in attendance at the meeting with preliminary conversations occurring related to options for next steps.

As the Government of Alberta is responsible for the provision of shelter, it would be a provincial EOI. Red Deer City Council and administration continue to express their intention to remain committed to the project as outlined in the current Memorandum of Understanding between The City and the Government of Alberta.

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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