Broder Developments has decided to withdraw from a project in Rocky Mountain House after a vote at Tuesday’s town council meeting.
During the meeting, council considered whether to rezone two pieces of land from R1-Low Density Residential to R2-General Residential and R3-Multiple Family Residential.
Lacombe-based Broder Developments, in partnership with Rocky-based Ridgewood Properties, had planned to build 43 homes on the land, located just off 65 Avenue on 58 Street.
Roughly 20 residents attended the meeting and public hearing, voicing concerns over the proposed development’s impacts on traffic, parking and safety.
“Our nice quiet neighbourhood is not going to be a nice quiet neighborhood anymore,” said Donna Zubot, a resident.
A major concern was whether the developer would build apartment buildings, and the impact that could have on property values.
The developer said there was no plan to build any apartments, however the R3 zoning wouldn’t restrict them from doing so if they changed their minds.
As a result, council decided to grant only the rezoning to R2-General Residential, but not R3-Multiple Family Residential.
“Our rationale for granting the R2 zoning instead of R3 is to address public concerns about the possibility of a future apartment building,” said Mayor Tammy Burke.
“Apartment buildings are listed as discretionary use in an R2 district, which allows the Town to place stricter limitations on a development and address public concerns as raised at the public hearing. In granting the rezoning to R2 District, council aimed for a compromise between town residents and the applicant, while still adhering to our legislative requirements.”
Despite the compromise, Johnathan Jacobson with Broder Developments says without the R3 zoning, the development is too risky.
“Having the R3 designation gave us the ability that if in the case the municipal planning commission said, ‘No you can’t do your Town development,’ then that R3 zoning is still valuable enough that someone else would buy it and do something else with it,” he said. “That basically gives us the release valve to go ahead with the R1 and R2 developments.”
Jacobson said the result was disappointing because the specific type of development was well-received elsewhere.
“We’ve discovered there’s a real need in the market for entry-level family-sized housing that’s in the affordable band-range,” said Jacobson. “We discovered it worked really well
in Lacombe, there’s lots of demand doing it in Red Deer and we thought this would be a great opportunity to do something like this here, but unfortunately it didn’t work out.”
Despite Broder Developments pulling out of the project, the land remains rezoned to R2 and could still be the subject of development in the future.
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