On September 10, Council gave first reading to a report regarding the future of Molly Banister Drive extension. The administrative report recommended removal of the protected alignment from the development plans, meaning the roadway would come out of the plans, and development of the area could continue without holding space for this road to be developed at some point in the future.
Tonight, Council heard from 31 people who spoke either for or against the protection of the road alignment at a public hearing. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, residents voiced their opinions either at an offsite location via video to Council, or over the phone.
Following the public hearing, and consideration of the written statements received, Council began deliberations in consideration of second and third reading of the amendment.
Currently, The City’s statutory plans show the protected alignment as a four lane undivided arterial road, similar to 22 Street between 30 Avenue and 40 Avenue, bisecting Piper Creek. Tonight, Council voted against removing the protected alignment, which keeps this potential road as an option to accommodate traffic in the city’s southeast when the population of Red Deer is about 188,000 people.
The Molly Banister Drive alignment was projected to be required when the population of Red Deer reaches 188,000, which is estimated to be in about 34 years, in 2054.
“The discussion of whether or not Molly Banister Drive should be extended has been a recurring topic for many years,” said Deputy Mayor Michael Dawe. “The Molly Banister Drive extension was first shown in City planning and transportation documents in the 1970’s, and after considering input from the many residents who joined us tonight or submitted feedback in advance, Council decided not to proceed with second and third reading, which keeps the protected alignment in development plans.”
In the fall of 2019, The City received an application to amend two development plans in the East Hill area. Melcor, the developer of the area, requested that the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and the East Hill Major Area Structure Plan (MASP) be amended by removing the Molly Banister Drive protected roadway alignment (extension of Molly Banister Drive to 40 Avenue) from the plans.
More information can be found at www.reddeer.ca/mollybanister.