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City of Red Deer

Collicutt, GH Dawe, and Michener Aquatic Centres to open in mid-July

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From the City of Red Deer

City to begin phased reopening of recreation facilities

A phased and gradual reopening of indoor and outdoor recreation amenities will begin next week and continue throughout the summer. Different amenities will reopen at different times to ensure the safety of staff and facility users per provincial public health orders.

“We are excited to welcome citizens back to our facilities, but opening them within the new provincial health guidelines and restrictions takes planning, and we have had to make significant adjustments to our operations,” said Shelley Gagnon, Recreation, Parks & Culture Manager. “The experience will look and feel a little different for our residents when these amenities reopen.”

Operating hours at some facilities will be adjusted and access to facilities and programs will be limited and controlled to comply with provincial guidelines. This could include booking time slots to use fitness equipment or designating specific public swimming times, track access and sport activities.

The tentative timeline for amenity openings is as follows:

  • June 24 Community bookings will open for sports fields, picnic shelters and bookable park spaces including Great Chief Park, Setters Place, Bower Ponds Stage. The Lindsay Thurber track and field amenities will also be available for bookings. The City is working with user groups to confirm previous bookings and understand future demand.
  • MidJuly:
    • Collicutt Centre – Fitness areas, access to the track and use of the field house will be available for controlled, limited access. We also expect to have the pool open, primarily for swimming lessons and public swimming.
    • G.H. Dawe Community Centre – We expect to have the pool open, primarily for swimming lessons and public swimming. The gymnasium will open for controlled, limited access. Fitness areas will not open immediately.
    • Michener Aquatic Centre – We expect to have the pool available for controlled, limited lane swimming and some aquatic fitness.
  • The Recreation Centre will remain closed for the time being. We continue to assess and understand demand for facilities, program and services as part of this phased approach to opening. As previously announced, the outdoor pool will remain closed for the season.
  • We are working with our organized user groups and clubs to understand demand as they plan for summer and fall programming. These groups book space in our facilities and we anticipate having space available for their use including ice, dry space and pools, by July 6th.
  • We are also excited to offer outdoor fitness programming in early July.  More details will be provided soon.

In addition, the following third party-operated facilities have been given permission to reopen while following all provincial health requirements and guidelines. Please contact them directly for operating information:

  • River Bend Golf and Recreation Area
  • Enduro Mountain Bike Park
  • Lions Campground
  • Red Deer Tennis Club
  • Red Deer Pickleball Club
  • Red Deer BMX
  • Bower Ponds Pavilion
  • Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery
  • Kerry Wood Nature Centre
  • Norwegian Laft Hus
  • Heritage Square
  • Cronquist House
  • Fort Normandeau
  • Neighbourhood Activity Centres
  • YMCA Northside Community Centre
  • Great West Adventure Park
  • Heritage Ranch
  • Festival Hall
  • Memorial Centre
  • Edgar Athletic Fields

“We are still assessing how we can safely open our spray parks, including Kin Canyon, Discovery Canyon and Blue Grass Sod Farm Central Spray and Play, while adhering to public health orders and restrictions,” said Gagnon. “Currently, outdoor gatherings are limited to no more than 100 people, so we’re working to determine how to manage these restrictions while still providing access and will have more information to share in the coming weeks.”

Registration is now open for modified summer day camps which will be held in City facilities in July and August. Visit www.reddeer.ca/daycamps for further information.

As recreation and culture amenities open, The City strongly encourages users to remain vigilant and continue exercising caution to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including washing/sanitizing hands often and staying home when feeling ill. Facility users will be required to follow all public health orders including maintaining physical distancing when possible.

FAQ – Phased reopening of recreation facilities (pdf)

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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