East Hill MASP Amendment: Molly Banister Drive
On January 16, 2023, Council heard from 12 people who spoke either for or against the extension of the road alignment and bridge at a public hearing in Council Chambers.
Following the public hearing, Council voted on whether or not the road alignment and bridge should stay in City plans. The City Council vote resulted in a tie vote, meaning that the City plans would remain unchanged. This means the road extension and bridge will remain in City plans, including the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and the East Hill Major Area Structure Plan (MASP).
History of road extension and bridge
In summer of 2022, Melcor Developments had submitted an application to remove the Molly Banister Drive road extension and bridge from the MDP and East Hill MASP. This was the third time an application had been made by Melcor regarding the potential Molly Banister Drive road extension and bridge since fall of 2019, however the topic of extending Molly Banister Drive across Piper Creek has been ongoing for nearly 50 years.
The Molly Banister Drive road extension and bridge was first shown in City planning and transportation documents in the 1970’s.
In 1996, a Transportation Plan Update was completed which included the Molly Banister Drive road extension and bridge; however, neighbouring residents protested the extension of Molly Banister Drive and asked Council to eliminate it, which Council did.
In 2003, administration asked Council to include the Molly Banister Drive road extension in the 2003/2004 Transportation Plan Update. The 2003/2004 update identified the need to widen 32 Street which had severe impacts to adjacent residents, business and park space. Council directed administration to review options to avoid widening 32 Street and in 2006 administration completed the Southeast Sector Transportation Study, which showed the Molly Banister Drive extension and bridge as an option to defer the need to widen 32 Street. The study also compared the effectiveness of each option, including the option to widen 19 Street, which was determined to be required independent of the Molly Banister Drive extension to accommodate growth in The City’s southeast sector.
In 2019 Melcor applied to remove the Molly Banister Drive road extension and bridge from the MDP and East Hill MASP. Their application was defeated in October 2020 by Council as the majority of Council felt that land should be protected for the road extension and bridge in the event that traffic counts warrant it in the next 20 to 30 years.
In 2021, the developer applied to reduce the Molly Banister Drive road extension from an arterial roadway (43 m road right of way) to a smaller collector roadway (up to a 32 m road right of way) and provide options on where the bridge would cross Piper Creek. The three bridge options were Molly Banister Drive, Bennett Street, and Boyce Street. On August 31, 2021, Council considered the application and amended the plans to reduce the roadway to a smaller four lane collector that could cross Piper Creek at Molly Banister Drive.
In 2022, Melcor applied to remove the collector roadway and bridge from City plans. Council gave first reading to the proposal which triggered a public hearing which was held on January 16, 2023. Following the public hearing Council voted in a tie vote resulting in defeat of Melcor’s proposal.