As reported in the October edition of the County News, Red Deer County received the 2021 Minister’s Award for Municipal Excellence – Special Recognition for Red Tape Reduction Initiatives in the Rural Municipality category. In fact, Development Services won two Awards, as the Village of Elnora received the same award for the Urban Municipality – Under 10,000 population. It is an honor to be recognized, and County residents should be proud of this achievement.
In September, Red Deer County hosted the Alberta Development Officers Conference. Due to pandemic restrictions, the Conference was held virtually, however the event was a success. As a legacy to the host community the Alberta Development Officers Association and the Conference Committee fund raise for local charities during the event through 50/50 draws, prize draws and raffles. This year, the Conference raised $4,210 dollars, which was split equally between the Medicine River Wildlife Centre and the Mustard Seed in Red Deer.
A number of exciting new projects were developed in 2021 including:
- Springbrook Skatepark
- First Billboard Sign (Patterson) in Gasoline Alley
- Lakewood Golf Resort RV Park expansion / Highway 20 & Township Road 391
We are looking forward to a number of approved projects being completed in 2022 including:
- Liberty Landing Phase 1C (Gasoline Alley) 77 lot residential subdivision
- Northlane Estates (Blindman Area) 4 lot residential subdivision
- New Developments in Gasoline Alley, including the Home Church expansion; Mattress Mattress, A&W and new Car Wash
Unfortunately, the department had to do a lot of enforcement during 2021 including requiring a double car garage built in a flood plain to be demolished. This drastic action serves as a reminder to contact the Development Office and discuss your plans. You will find that the Staff are more than willing to help you out to achieve your goals!
Safety Codes Highlights
A strong residential sector fueled an increase in safety codes permits in 2021. In total, there were 150 housing starts – which is 30% more than the average number of housing starts over the prior 5 years.
Construction value of permitted building for the year totalled $70 million. Due to the ongoing pandemic, industrial and commercial activity was somewhat lower than historical average. That said, a number of exciting projects valued at over $1M in construction value were approved for construction, including:
- Rebel Vac Systems Expansion (Burnt Lake)
- JCT 42 Truck Lube (Junction 42)
- Cervus Equipment (Junction 42)
- Pure Life Carbon (Gasoline Alley)
- Mattress Mattress (Gasoline Alley)
- Grubb Engineering (Gasoline Alley)
A total of 7 major plans and bylaws were completed in 2021, including:
- Elnora Land Use Bylaw (Adopted January 11, 2021) - This project was undertaken to update the Village’s current land use bylaw in order to comply with changes with Municipal Government Act, consolidate previous amendments, and to improve areas which administration found to be challenging to implement.
- Elnora Municipal Development Plan (Adopted March 18, 2021) - This project was initiated in response to changes to the Municipal Government Act requiring all municipalities to have a Municipal Development Plan. The following generalized planning goals have been adopted by the Village to direct future community growth and development: to provide a guide for all land use planning documents; to identify opportunities and future growth needs and direction; to strengthen the Village’s economic base by providing opportunities for business and industry; to establish appropriate land use development strategy that provides for economic viability, efficient transportation and utility servicing systems; and to promote compatible land uses and encourage orderly development.
- Waskasoo Local Area Structure Plan (Adopted July 6, 2021) - The purpose of this bylaw is to provide a general land use planning framework for the subdivision and development of 154 hectares (380 acres) of land located within Gasoline Alley West south of the City of Red Deer directly adjacent to Highway 2A.
- District 2&42 Major Area Structure Plan Update (Adopted September 7, 2021) - The purpose of this bylaw is to include an additional quarter section within the Plan area and to reduce the amount of future Commercial Areas east of Highway QE2.
- Southeast 2/42 Interchange Local Area Structure Plan Update (Adopted September 7, 2021) - The amendments include an increase to and reconfiguration of the area planned for Light and Medium Industrial Uses which results in a decrease to the area planned for Commercial Uses as noted on the attached Future Land Use Concept Map.
- Innisfail Inter-municipal Development Plan Update (Adopted – September 7, 2021) - The purpose of the IDP is to provide a framework for the Town and County to work together to address issues and opportunities of mutual concern as they relate to future land use planning for the area surrounding the Town of Innisfail.
- Red Deer County Municipal Development Plan Update (Adopted September 21, 2021) - The Red Deer County Municipal Development Plan (MDP) is the County’s primary land use planning policy document and provides a framework for future growth and development within the municipality. The overall goal of the MDP is to guide the future development of Red Deer County in an orderly, economical and sustainable manner by: clearly defining the goals, objectives and policies of the County with respect to planning matters; minimizing land use conflicts; promoting sustainable development practices; and providing support and direction for the administration of the Land Use Bylaw
Land Development Highlights
Land Development's role is to develop and sell county owned commercial and industrial land as well as to coordinate construction of development driven projects. The unit undertook three major projects in 2021, including:
- Lantern Street East Construction Project. This project included roadway widening from Leva Avenue to Laura Avenue, construction of a “mini-roundabout” at Liberty Avenue (by the Hideout Restaurant), curbs, sidewalks, and underground utilities. In addition to the primary work, two pedestrian pathways were constructed south of Lantern Street along Laura Avenue and Liberty Avenue.
- Highway 2A and Township Road 372 Roundabout Project. This project was project managed and undertaken on behalf of Alberta Transportation. Red Deer County also provided funding in support of this project. The works involved construction of a double lane roundabout on Highway 2A at the intersection of Township Road 372 (which is known as Airport Drive once it enters the Hamlet of Springbrook).
- District 42 East and West Intersection Improvements. This project is being undertaken in two parts. In 2021, Range Road 273A at Highway 42 was realigned to improve traffic movements. In the summer of 2022 works will include turn lane improvements and paving to the new Cervus Equipment dealership. The second part of the project was to install a right turn channelization at the intersection of Highway 42 and Junction Drive, and to realign the Highway 42 service road at Junction 42 to Long Haul Way.
Land Management is responsible for the stewardship of all Red Deer County owned lands, including Municipal Reserves and Right of Ways. Currently, the department manages 124 active leases including:
|Lease Type Numbers ||Numbers|
|Community (Arenas, Halls, Parks, etc.)||27|
| Big Bend Airport ||25|
|Former Railway Right of Ways||18|
|Closed Road Allowances||18|
|Utility Right of Ways||11|
|Pipeline Right of Ways||4|
|License to Occupy ||1|
Some other matters that Land Management gets involved with are:
- County land acquisition for road and utility construction.
- Road Closure Bylaws; and
- Neighbour disputes over fences & encroachments
Junction 42 Partnership Rest Area
The Rest Area saw over 185,000 truck visits this year. Since its inception the Rest Area has had 350,000 truck visits (> 30 minutes and < than 8 hours). To put it in perspective, a truck pulls into the Rest Area every 3 minutes, on average. Peak hours are overnight between midnight and 6:00 am. Plans are in the works to expand the Rest Area and to develop a roundabout at the intersection of Highway 42 and Junction Drive.