Wednesday, 12 June 2013 16:48

Open house features future growth plans for northwest Swift Current

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Kent Snyder (at right) of planning and engineering firm Scheffer Andrew speaks to a shopper about the northwest sector development plan during a public open house at the Swift Current Mall on May 30. Kent Snyder (at right) of planning and engineering firm Scheffer Andrew speaks to a shopper about the northwest sector development plan during a public open house at the Swift Current Mall on May 30. Matthew Liebenberg/Prairie Post

A come-and-go open house took place at the Swift Current Mall on May 30 to highlight the growth plans for the city’s northwest corner.

 

Display boards were used to present details of the northwest sector draft plan. It included information about current land ownership, natural and human made constraints to future development and concept details such as housing development option, a future elementary school site and a neighbourhood commercial area.

Kent Snyder, the project manager with planning and engineering company Scheffer Andrew, said the purpose of the open house was to inform the community about the planning exercise and to obtain information and feedback from residents.

“The plan at this point is very flexible and we will take comments received and try to address them,” he mentioned.

Residents will have another opportunity to review the sector plan during a second public open house that will probably take place in early fall.

Once approved by the City of Swift Current, the sector plan will be used as a blueprint to guide development in the area.

Hank Epstein, the City’s director of planning and development, said it is one of a series of sector plans for different areas in Swift Current.

“The City has an obligation to its citizens to anticipate future growth and that's what the sector plans allow us to do,” he explained.

The plan identifies existing developments and new areas for development, which will be done in phases.

“It's allowing us to see the relationship of existing land uses to proposed land uses and then we can guide applicants who have an interest in that land that's undeveloped as to what the community's expectations are for development,” he said.

According to Snyder there is around 326 hectares of undeveloped land in the northwest sector plan and about one third of the land is currently developed. He estimated the area can accommodate close to 15,000 people if it is completely developed.

“It's going to take a long time to be fully developed because it's a very big area,” he said. “This planning exercise doesn't necessarily mean development is going to happen or start tomorrow. It's for when a developer, who may be a private landowner, wants to do something.”

The most prominent land use will be for low-density, single-family homes. There are steep slopes with valleys towards the northeast and southwest, which will remain undeveloped.

“What the plan has done is put a lot of trails and recreational uses in the valleys and the slopes,” he said. “So this will be quite a green, open space type of community.”

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Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer

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