The Town of Hay River has completed final approval of its community plan, allowing it to move forward with the process of changing its zoning bylaw to accommodate shifts in land use.
One of those shifts is the proposed development of Fraser Place, a wooded area identified by the town as an ideal location for residential expansion.
The community plan states Fraser Place could accommodate “in the order of 20 single-unit residential or a mix of single and multi-unit housing, while still preserving the environmental setting of the area.”
In the past, some residents have expressed concern at that proposal.
Mike Auge, Hay River’s director of public works, this week said the Fraser Place project still has some way to go before any work can be completed – and residents will have more opportunities to voice their opinions.
“It has been a popular topic here, the Fraser Place development, so we will certainly be looking to get input from citizens,” Auge told Cabin Radio.
“It is a little bit of a process, but we will be getting started on it right away.”
The land at Fraser Place is currently designated as institutional and must be rezoned to residential land in order for the project to move forward.
That requires a zoning bylaw update, Auge said, which will trigger further consultation with the community.
Design work for a new-look Fraser Place is expected to begin in the winter if the proposal goes ahead, with construction starting in 2021.
Projected population increase
Hay River is looking to build more homes because it projects a population increase of 2,500 residents over five years, bringing to population up to 6,000.
However, the prospect of losing green space led to the submission of two petitions to council from some residents, asking for more consultation and the creation of a nature park.
Geotechnical work at Fraser Place has now been carried out and the town is awaiting the results of the survey.
Those results will help shape how the area is designed and developed. They could also affect the development timeline, Auge said, depending on “whether or not we need to clear some area and let it sit for a year, or whether we can clear it and start with the construction process right away.”