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Redcliff has land designated for new school in updated (East Side Area Structure Plan)

Posted on July 6, 2022 by 40 Mile Commentator

By Samantha Johnson

Commentator/Courier

At the regularly scheduled Council meeting in Redcliff on June 27, the Public Hearing for the East Side Area Structure Plan (ASP) Bylaw occurred. The ASP also received the second reading of the bylaw.

The public hearing for Bylaw 1942/2022 East Side ASP opened with a presentation to Council concerning the plan. The purpose of the project was to update existing ASP, which was adopted as a bylaw of 2017. Unplanned lands were added to the new ASP, and it is consistent with the Town or Redcliff Municipal Development Plan (MDP), Bylaw 1880/2019. New site constraints were also taken into consideration as was the Medicine Hat Burnside ASP, which wasn’t considered in the original plan. The new plan covers the area from the CPR Railine, along Broadway until Mitchell Street and bordered on the South and East by the Coulee and Medicine Hat City limits. 

Updating the ASP considered various constraints. These include servicing constraints the town wanted addressed, such as utility right of ways and water mains. In addition, there needs to be a wildlife buffer, particularly in concern to rattlesnake habitat, as well as protecting important historical and archeological features along the southern boundary. Gas wells, storm ponds, the old lagoon and quarry were also considered.

Principals of the plan are a strong community identity, complete community, connectivity, housing diversity, commercial vitality, and efficient use of land. Wanted to maintain the small town feel of Redcliff, have an open space network throughout plan, as well as community that promotes walking and cycling. Commercial vitality also important, with connections throughout for cycling and pedestrian accessibility. The plan wants to make the most efficient use of land to reduce service operating costs. 

First step was identifying where storm ponds should be located. Intent of wide-open space on west side of plan is for it to become a recreational area. Residential development takes up most of the area. Medium and high-density residential developments are in areas close to commercial development and open spaces. Low density residential development is through the centre area of ASP. There will be a grid type street development. High density residential development is three stories with some senior housing. Medium density is four plexes and town homes. A school site, which was important for the Town, has been identified. There was discussion by Council about the school being on 9 Avenue, which will be a new thoroughfare, and to not have this become a 30 km/h zone. 

The plan provides direction for the development of reserve lands for parks, open space, natural areas, and trails. Open space includes natural areas, active and passive parks, storm ponds, and multi-use pathways / trails. The I-XL Historic Park will be constructed as a focal point of the plan area

Traffic calming measures to be considered throughout the area to discourage shortcutting and mitigate potential noise. A separate cycling network to be constructed along major streets to connect to public and commercial areas. Where multi-use pathways are not provided, sidewalks will be located on all roads. Residential roads will be two lanes. Technical roadway standards needed to be addressed with adequate intersection spacing concerning CPR railway and TransCanada Highway. This involves a rerouting of Saamis Drive as the current approach to the crossing of the CPR railway needs to be longer.

Stormwater ponds are located on a public utility wherever possible, and not in areas qualifying as an Environmental Reserve. The plan is divided into four catchment areas with the location of storm water ponds benefitting the community as they are incorporated into and complement the open areas. 

ASP was circulated following the bylaw’s first reading, on May 9, and various comments were received. many which will need to be incorporated. Comments included having a multi-use trail along Mitchell Street, a community kitchen and shelter in the IXL Park area, and Commercial developments retaining rear alley access for delivery and garbage collection. 

After some discussion with Council, the second reading of the bylaw for the new ASP was passed. 

Council received a delegation by Jane Finnimore concerning a Trap Neuter Return (TNR) program. In addition to funding from Council for the program, she wants to see a shift in the bylaw, which only allows two animals per household, to accommodate those who are fostering animals. 

Once the population is under control the cost will decrease. As young kittens can’t be released back into the community, a shelter of some kind is needed. Partially funded by Cypress County, a TNR program captured 430 cats in two visits, mostly in Dunmore, Suffield, and Redcliff. Males need to be watched for one night and females for four nights. About 50-60 cats in Redcliff have been TNR’d in the past two years. 

Each cat who has not been TNR’d will have 4-6 survivable kittens, thus there are still litters being born and the population continues to grow. Canadian Animal Taskforce has worked with many towns to create new bylaws. At this point in Redcliff, a mass catching of cats isn’t required and it can be done in small groups. Most organizations who foster out animals have a policy that they remain indoor cats. Councillor Cathy Crozier moved to accept the presentation for information, request administration research updating the pet bylaws, and have any possible funding be put into the budget sessions, which was carried. 

Council adopted previous Council minutes of June 13, Municipal Planning Commission of June 15, Regional Waste Management Authority of June 15, Town of Redcliff Library meetings of April 19 and May 17 accepted for information without any questions or concerns. 

A decision was needed on a new fifty-unit senior apartment facility that is needed in Redcliff. The plan would be to take down some of the original building if a new one is being built. The maintenance on the old building is getting cost prohibitive. Option two was approved, which states: “Direct Administration to send a letter of support to Cypress View Foundation confirming the need for a new 50-unit apartment building to support low to moderate income seniors in the municipalities of Redcliff, Medicine Hat and Cypress County including the available land opportunities within Redcliff that could support a new multifamily building.”

In relation to offsite levies, Council passed the motion to include community recreation facilities, fire hall facilities, police station facilities and libraries in the upcoming off-site levy report. Staff are currently working on this report for presentation to Council and stakeholders.  

The Kinsmen Club of Medicine Hat wishes to sponsor Public Skating at the Redcliff Rec-Tangle as well as a Sunday Family Swim for the residents of the town of Redcliff. The years of funding will be 2022 to 2024, with the Kinsmen Club of Medicine Hat providing a yearly $5,000 donation for skating and $3,000 for swimming. Council moved to sign the sponsorship agreement and to recognize the Kinsmen Club of Medicine Hat as the sponsor.

Policy 148 for Town Vehicle and Equipment was approved. The policy will be amended to include all smoking classifications, such as vaping, under the no smoking in town vehicles section. The new policy will only allow those who are on-call to take their vehicle home and not all employees as is currently the case. This includes the bylaw officer, who will still be paid four hours for after-hour calls but will not be taking the town vehicle home anymore. One question by Council was if there was a lot large enough to store all the vehicles overnight, and administration stated there was. 

Policy 149, Workplace Harassment Prevention Policy and Policy 150, Workplace Violence Prevention and Policy 151, Vehicles in Public Cemeteries were all approved by Council as presented. 

Correspondence from Town of High River regarding coal policy and County of St. Paul about rising utility fees both were accepted for info without questions or concerns. 

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