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City of Red Deer

City to consider surplus land and buildings for affordable housing

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City Council approves housing asset development recommendations

At their regular meeting Monday, City Council unanimously supported ten recommendations related to municipal government enabling actions that reflect the Community Housing and Homelessness Integrated Plan (CHHIP). Administration also presented an action plan for pursuing all ten enablers within the next three years, including some that will be actioned immediately. The enabling actions were researched and analyzed extensively to provide optimized solutions for The City in relation to their impact in leveraging funds from other orders of government, as well as the difficulty and timeframe for implementation.

The recommendations are in response to a City Council motion from January 2022 directing The City’s Housing and Homelessness Integration Committee (HHIC) to expedite permanent supportive housing asset development and to explore and identify related funding and government enabling actions. On February 6, 2023, Council directed administration to prioritize zoning and permitting processes for affordable housing and permanent supportive housing applications, specific to applications seeking Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Rapid Housing Initiative and Government of Alberta’s Affordable Housing Partnership funding.

Supported by case studies that demonstrate successful strategies used by other municipalities to incentivize and increase affordable and supportive housing stock, the approved recommendations provide the following direction:

• Surplus land: Administration will present a report to Council in late 2024 that contains a list of potentially suitable surplus lands or buildings that The City may consider using for affordable housing. A report containing a list of potentially suitable surplus lands or buildings that The City may consider using for affordable housing.

• Financial incentives: A tax supported financial incentives program will be presented in November 2023 for Council consideration during mid-cycle budget review. Additionally, Administration will explore The City’s application for the new “Housing Accelerator Fund” through the Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation.

• Property tax exemptions: To ensure equitable and transparent implementation for non-Alberta Social Housing Corporation properties that provide affordable housing, a grant program in lieu of property tax exemptions will be presented in November 2024 as part of the next budget debate.

• Land designations: A full business case regarding land designation outlining financial feasibility and risks to The City’s Land Bank will be presented to Council in late 2024.

• Fast track development: Administration will prioritize zoning and permitting processes for affordable housing and permanent supportive housing applications as an immediate, long-term measure, specific to applications seeking funding from other orders of government.

• Waive municipal fees: Administration will ensure municipal fees are eligible expenses in the tax-supported financial incentives program that will be presented to Council in November 2023 as part of mid-cycle budget review.

The resolutions also endorse the following administrative actions:

• Provision of continued support to potential applicants to federal, provincial and municipal affordable housing programs.

• Development of key messages supporting The City’s advocacy for increased affordable housing stock.

• Development of new Land Use Bylaw for Council consideration in 2023.

• Exploration of conversion of commercial buildings for timeliness and affordability reasons..

“In addition to reflecting the Community Housing and Homelessness Integrated Plan (CHHIP), the approved enabling actions are the result of community input, local context, and promising practices and we expect them to make an impact towards our community’s housing affordable housing and permanent supportive housing goals,” said Ryan Veldkamp, Social Wellness & Integration Supports Superintendent.

More information on Housing & Homelessness efforts can be found at: https://www.reddeer.ca/about-red-deer/social-well-being-and-community-initiatives/housing-and-homelessness/.

City of Red Deer

Upgrades to Woody’s Athletic Park begin next week

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New track sub-surface and rubber overlay, curbing and barrier-free pedestrian access are all part of the upcoming construction project at Woody’s Athletic Park. On June 26 construction crews will begin mobilizing at the athletic park next to Lindsay Thurber High School to begin the nearly three-month project.

The project will see the replacement of the track’s sub-surface and rubber overlay, installation of inside lane curbing, and creation of barrier-free access throughout the amenity. These upgrades will allow for Woody’s Athletic Park to achieve World Athletics Certification. Obtaining this certification will allow groups to host provincial, national and even international competitions.

“The upgrades to the park will help us to achieve World Athletics Certification, providing more opportunity to attract large scale track and field events to our community,” said Kristin Walsh, Safe & Healthy Communities Manager. “Woody’s Athletic Park already hosts many local competitions, but with the upgrades, there will be an opportunity to host provincial, national, even international events right here in Red Deer.”

Phase One – where we are at:

The first phase will see the existing rubber surface removed to repair and resurface 40-year-old sub-surface, as well as the construction of barrier-free pedestrian pathways to access the park. This phase is anticipated to take about a month. Once complete, the asphalt will sit for about two weeks as a requirement of the new synthetic topcoat surface.

Phase Two – where we’ll go next:

The second phase will begin in August, and it will include the rubber overlay on the track as well as curbing on the inside of turns or lane 1. The new rubber overlay will be red, rather than the current black surface.

Community impact

The impact to the community includes no access to the athletic park during construction until the anticipated re-opening date of September 15. There will be signage and additional fencing to restrict access to the construction area to eliminate risk to the general public, as with any construction site. There should be no impact to surrounding roads, pathways and trails. There may be minor disruptions in the initial set up of the construction access early July, and potential interruption as construction equipment access the site throughout the project.

The user groups who regularly book the track during the summer have found alternate locations to train and compete this year during the closure.

Woody’s Athletic Park is maintained and booked by The City of Red Deer. The total budget for this project is $1.45 million. The project is funded by The City of Red Deer, Red Deer Public School Division, Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools, Red Deer Titans Track & Field Club, and sponsorship.

The name

The renaming of the amenity to Woody’s Athletic Park occurred in 2023, following a financial contribution by long-time resident, Woody Paylor. Permanent signage featuring the new name will be installed throughout the construction project.

Related link: Enhancing recreation through community partnership

Contact Information

Address: 4204-58 Street (map)
Located on Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School grounds.

For booking information contact Facility and Park Rentals or email [email protected] or call your bookings specialist at 403-309-8421. Our bookings specialist will ask you for details of your planned event, discuss amenities and walk you through the bookings process.

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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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