Published on January 21, 2020
New Community Amenities One Step Closer!
The next step in securing a new community amenity site in St. Albert has been taken. On Monday, Council approved an administrative recommendation to move forward with a conditional offer to acquire the lands for a new community amenity site within the Range Road 260 Area Structure Plan. This is good news for residents, as it means the City is moving forward based on feedback received throughout Fall 2019 consultations.
The project location was chosen in consideration of several factors that ensured it would align with Council’s Strategic Plan, focusing primarily on the Growth Policy Framework and Infrastructure Investment priorities. Specifically, the location of the project itself, and the cost of servicing and developing the chosen location were considered with an eye to mitigate costs and allow for the future growth and development of St. Albert.
Last Fall, Council provided a cross-section of residents different opportunities for feedback on the potential sites that were up for consideration for this project, including presenting the project publicly and having a presence at events like Council in the Park and the St. Albert Farmers’ Market. As well, the City hired an external consultant to facilitate organized discussions with residents to better understand what they felt was most important to consider when choosing a location for a new amenities site.
Consensus of the polled residents saw the site at Range Road 260 as an excellent opportunity to reclaim land that was previously used for waste disposal, by repurposing a landfill for the public good. As well, residents understood that given the future direction of proposed developments to the northwest of the city, planning and building amenities that will facilitate ease of access for future commercial and industrial growth in that region is important.
The site at Range Road 260 will be easily accessible for others throughout the city, as well. Since it is near the proposed Red Willow Trail System expansion, the site could ultimately be accessed not just by car, but also bike and pedestrian traffic, connecting other neighbourhoods to the new build. The site itself is a good size and will aim to encourage the use of currently undeveloped land in the area.
Financially, the site is a good choice, too. The land’s developer is offering the site to the City at no charge; after recoverable costs for servicing are considered, the serviced site is estimated to have a net cost of around $7.5M: an excellent price, especially when other factors are considered.
Now that this site has been selected, the next steps of planning can begin! But any groundbreaking ceremony is still a way off: based on the final direction of Council, a concept plan, potential Area Structure Plan amendment and detailed site planning will need to take place before any construction can start. Decisions relating to funding models, potential partnerships, servicing methods and any on-site facilities must also be made, and those decisions will take thoughtfulness and planning. Public engagement and concept plan development could start as early as 2021, with design and ultimately construction to follow later. For now, the City is excited to have chosen the site for future amenities for residents in St. Albert to enjoy!
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Last edited: January 21, 2020