East Hill MASP Amendment: Molly Banister Drive

Melcor has submitted an application to amend the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and the East Hill Major Area Structure Plan (MASP). The amendment would remove the future Molly Banister Drive expansion through the undeveloped quarter section (NE-4-27-38-4) along 40 Avenue to 22 Street from the plans to allow for a future residential neighbourhood with no major roadway running through it. This would align with Melcor’s vision to protect the existing ravine and natural area running through the area.

The wording in the East Hill MASP regarding the Molly Banister Drive expansion outlines:

“The Molly Bannister Drive alignment protection serves to ensure that the planning of the NE ¼ Section 4 accommodates this roadway alignment into the neighbourhood design without adversely affecting any future decisions regarding a possible roadway crossing over Piper Creek. This does not necessarily imply that Molly Bannister Drive will be extended across Piper Creek, and any such decision would require Council approval. If the protected alignment for Molly Bannister Drive between 40 Avenue and Bremner Avenue is ever implemented, this will be an arterial roadway with a 43m right-of-way width from 40 Avenue to Piper Creek.”

The plans currently show the future road network as illustrated below. The road is not currently developed.

 Molly Banister Alignment graphic

Melcor is proposing to change the future road network in the plans as shown below. This option does not change how the road network currently exists.

No Molly Banister Alignment graphic

It is important to note that residential development on the undeveloped quarter section is likely to occur in the future regardless if Molly Banister Drive is extended through it or not. Prior to The City receiving a neighbourhood design from Melcor, it is necessary to know if Molly Banister Drive will be extended through the quarter section.

What we heard.
Molly Banister Drive Extension: Survey Results

In December 2019 and January 2020 The City consulted with landowners, residents, and business owners regarding Melcor’s proposal to amend City plans to remove the road alignment for the potential extension of Molly Banister Drive within the Sunnybrook Extension neighbourhood. A Letter, Q&A, and a Survey were mailed to 3487 landowners within the 8 quarter sections that are surrounding Sunnybrook Extension, and the same information was made available on the website for all other City residents.

The survey was for information gathering, and was not an official vote on the matter.

Survey Results:

195 hardcopy responses were returned to The City of Red Deer, and 1796 online surveys were completed:

  • 57.6% of respondents want to keep the road alignment in City plans
  • 40.8% of respondents want to remove the road alignment from City plans
  • 1.6% of respondents were uncertain

As part of the survey, respondents were encouraged to provide their thoughts on why they answered the way they did.  The majority of comments fell within the following categories:

Environmental Impacts

  • Wildlife and habitat loss and mitigation
  • Impact on existing trail system and greenspace
  • Environmental impacts of future residential development
  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with shorter travelling routes

Traffic Impact and Flow

  • Impact on nearby landowners/residents (more traffic flow and noise)
  • 19 Street and 32 Street corridors are sufficient
  • 19 Street and 32 Street corridors are congested
  • Reduction in travel time for commuters
  • Alignment (design) of Molly Banister Drive extension

Property Value and Taxes

  • Cost of building road versus improving/widening others
  • Impact on property values and property taxes on nearby landowners

In addition to these comments, several respondents asked for more information including:

A current traffic study that includes the following information:

  • Cost of building road and bridge
  • Cost of upgrading 19 Street and 32 Street
  • Revision of proposed road alignment (design)
  • Current traffic data
  • Design options of bridge and road

An Environmental/ecological assessment that includes the following information:

  • List of ecological features of the area
  • Ecological impacts of the road extension
  • Wildlife mitigation measures

Next Steps

The next steps of the project will be preparing a report to Council. It is anticipated that the report will be presented to Council in 2020, with the date yet to be determined. Please check back to this web page for updates. 

There are three steps that must occur if the amendments are to be approved.

Step 1: Council reviews the report and administration’s recommendation(s) when considering First Reading. If First Reading is granted, the application moves on to Step 2. At Step 1, council can also direct Administration to provide them with additional information prior to their decision. If additional information is required, Administration will return to council with a subsequent report. The application remains at Step 1 until council is satisfied with the information received and makes a decision to either give or deny first reading. 

Step 2:  A Public Hearing is held where the public is given an opportunity to speak directly to Council about a proposed amendment. Public Hearings are advertised in the Friday edition of the Red Deer Advocate and all landowners within the consultation area will receive written notification of the Public Hearing. Once the Public Hearing is closed, the application moves onto step 3.

Step 3: Council considers Second and Third (final) Reading of the proposed bylaws. If Second and Third reading are given, the amendment has been approved and comes into effect immediately. 

For further information, please contact one of the following:

Christi Fidek
Senior Planner
403-406-8701
christi.fidek@reddeer.ca           

Kimberly Fils-Aime
Senior Planner
403-356-8896
Kimberly.Fils-Aime@reddeer.ca