Fort Macleod council got the feedback it was seeking Wednesday on the town’s newest residential and commercial subdivision.
The design for the proposed Macleod Meadows subdivision on the east side of town generated a thorough discussion among visitors to council chambers.
“What we wanted to do was throw this out and see what everybody thought,” Mayor Shawn Patience said.
That feedback was forthcoming during the two-hour open house on Wednesday.
People expressed a desire to see the plan changed to have homes backing on to a large green space, which at present is in the southern portion of the subdivision. That would be attractive to young families who might buy the smaller R1 lots.
“That would be our desire, to get the young families,” Patience said.
Other comments were made about developing the subdivision in phases, so the Town of Fort Macleod does not have so much money invested in infrastructure for lots that may not be developed for years.
Others pointed out that it might be cheaper to install the infrastructure now, while construction companies are actively competing for projects due to a slowdown in the economy.
“This probably is a good time to do something like this,” Patience agreed.
Council was also told consideration should be given to a pedestrian overpass over Highway 3 so it is safe for children and adults living in Macleod Meadows to cross the busy roadway.
Another suggestion was incorporating some larger lots so single story homes can be built for seniors who do not want stairs.
The plan developed by the Oldman River Regional Services Commission for the nearly 34-acre parcel on the northeast side of Fort Macleod incorporated what Patience called “modern” techniques.
That includes high-density R1 lots that are smaller and more affordable, multi-residential property and no municipality-owned commercial lots.
Patience told people at the open house that Fort Macleod has a density four times higher than is recommended today by developing standards.
The design scheme calls for a mix of housing types with parks, trails and open space, along with commercial development.
The plan is for 48 single detached residences on lots 15 metres wide by 30 metres deep.
The plan also calls for 62 to 156 multi-residential units based on a density of 10 to 25 units per acre.
There is also a plan for 127 to 196 seniors’ and assisted living units in Macleod Meadows.
The planners designated 5.88 acres in the plan for commercial development, and 4.17 acres for parks, a dry storm pond, trails and open space.
“That’s the idea of modern planning, that everyone gets in the same area,” Patience said of the mix of residential and commercial development that brings homes, stores, schools, parks and other facilities into one neighbourhood.