New seniors’ community to see development in the near future

·2 min read

Wheatland County Council passed third reading on Bylaw 2021-20, which redesignated a parcel of land from Agricultural General, to Direct Control District.

This change will facilitate the development of an aging-in-place community that will include independent living cottages, residential care homes, community gathering spaces and a community centre.

Sherry Baers, Manager of Planning and Safety Codes presented the bylaw to Council on Oct. 5.

“Development proposal is to redesignate 59.82 acres from Agricultural General to Direct Control District with 31.94 acres remaining Agricultural General to facilitate an aging-in-place community,” said Baers.

The subject parcel of land is 91.6 acres in size and is located directly east of Speargrass. Access to the lot is available from township road 220 and highway 817.

The area concept plan, which was approved by council on Jan. 12, provides the long-range planning framework for the future development of the senior’s community.

During her presentation, Baers explained how the plot will be broken down and organized.

“The direct control bylaw proposed two development cells designed to allow flexibility based on market demand as to where construction will begin within the cell,” she said.

The first cell will provide residential development in the form of independent living cottages, multi-unit residential care homes, gathering spaces and a community center.

The second will consist primarily of residential development in the form of independent living cottages and multi-unit residential care homes.

The build suggests an eventual population of approximately 750 people, which will include both residents and employees living on site.

The remaining space on the plot not being redesignated for residential will continue to be agriculturally zoned and will act as a green space that will be communally accessible.

As of the Oct. 5 council meeting and approval of the bylaw, there is no plan or intention to build within that zone.

According to the proposal, roads within the development will be paved and intended to be private, with maintenance being the responsibility of the Chara Foundation, who will operate the community.

As road development is under the jurisdiction of Alberta Transportation, the county did not comment on matter during the presentation or regarding the bylaw.

Wheatland County Council passed second and third reading of the bylaw unopposed. Official dates for when development of the land parcel will begin has not yet been announced.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times

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