Prince Albert residents got a first look at potential commercial and residential growth in the West Hill area as the city unveiled plans for future development.
The city held the first of two open houses on the West Hill Master Plan Wednesday evening at the Alfred Jenkins Fieldhouse. The second runs tonight at 6:30 p.m.
What is today 613.4 hectares of mainly open field and grass could someday be new homes, condo and business developments as the city plans for growth in the West Hill area over the next 75 to 100 years. The proposed master plan includes a mix of residential and commercial growth to the west, with a projected future population of 20,615 people for the West Hill area. The proposal outlines plans for green space, neighbourhood development, common areas and a commercial hub with services such as a gas station or convenience store.
Wednesday’s open house was a chance for the public to give their thoughts on the proposed development. The plan calls for future development first in the area west of Marquis Road and 10th St. W., said Craig Guidinger, planning and development director with the City of Prince Albert.
Ward 8 Coun. Ted Zurakowski, who represents the West Hill area, said there are a range of important issues that need to be taken into account as development moves forward, everything from proper storm drainage to walkways to the accessibility of schools and busing.
“Over the last decade, as the city has grown on the east side, we’ve learned the value of specific items such as walkways … especially between schools, wider walkways is important,” Zurakowski told paNOW. “People feel comfortable with wider walkways with some green space around them for safety and for the comfort of living.”
Several residents attended the open house Wednesday to see the projected plans. Aaron Paulsen and his family run a business and own 130 acres of land in the proposed plan area. Paulsen said high taxes on commercial businesses is hindering growth in the city and he was hoping to see more details about how businesses would fit into plans for new development.
“We know that it’s only a matter of time before we have to move our business to another location.” Paulsen said. “It’s nice to see that there’s a master plan and it’s overall kind of looking good, it’s just a little lacklustre in what they want to do for the commercial end of things.”
City council is expected to review the plan at an upcoming council meeting.
On Twitter: @CharleneTebbutt
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