City council examines redistricting for assisted living facility
City council gave first reading to a request to redistrict a parcel of parkland for the potential construction of a four-plex assisted living facility at the regular council meeting on June 4, 2018. Supplied/City of Camrose
Camrose City Council gave first reading to a proposed rezoning of parkland for the potential construction of a fourplex assisted living facility by Catholic Social Services on Monday.
The proposed land is a wedge shaped lot between 68 Street and 66 Street near the Camrose Golf Course. The proposed $1.6 million project would house up to 20 people with developmental disabilities and CSS is asking the City to redistrict the Municipal Reserve land to Institutional.
"This is what we would consider an under utilized park space in that it does not have any direct activities on the park site," said City director of planning and development Aaron Leckie. "However, green space provides more than just an actual use value, in fact visually open land is appealing to adjacent owners. It does still have value, I don't want to downplay that, even though it might not be used as a typical park space."
Leckie added that public engagement has already began with postings on the land, which has led to some confusion by the public due to surveying of the lot for gas and power lines. There will be mailouts sent to adjacent residents and a public open house held on June 13 with a public hearing held on Sept. 4 when a second reading is scheduled to take place.
One of the concerns already popping up is over the potential of increased traffic, but Leckie said that it would be minimal.
"The people who will be living there don't drive," said Leckie. "There will be a number of support staff, certainly, but not anymore than you would see in any traditional fourplex configuration."
He added there would be low-profile landscaping to fit in with the neighbourhood and the light standards in the parking lot would face downward to limit the amount of light pollution.
CSS currently has four homes in Camrose that are near capacity and are deteriorating. Discussions regarding the issue began in 2017 and this project would allow CSS to sell and cancel leases on their current homes as they would be able to better accommodate their clients on the new site. The fourplex project would also include staffing facilities and would take 12 months to construct.
• Council also passed first reading on the redistricting of a lot at 5019-53 Street from High Density to Institutional with the applicant seeking to use the existing structure to accommodate a daycare facility. The application was made by Michael Ploner and would be to the requirements of the Downtown Action Plan. The daycare would be licensed through the Provincial Child Care Program and would be able to accommodate up to 45 children and eight to 10 staff members. The biggest concern is parking and traffic flow which would need to be addressed by the applicant.
"This is one of the easier redistrictings I've worked on, not only because there is a shortage of daycare facilities in Camrose, but also because this lines up really well with our Downtown Action Plan. I don't get to say that very often," said Leckie.
There will be a public hearing on July 3 with a scheduled second reading.