Edmonton

New neighbourhood plan for southwest Edmonton approved by city council

The new area could have 3,900 residents and would eventually have an LRT station, a hospital and close proximity to a new public high school set to open next year.

Plans include an LRT station, hospital and close proximity to a new high school

Homes along a green space in a Heritage Valley neighbourhood. (City of Edmonton)

A new neighbourhood is set for development in Edmonton's southwest, after city council approved a plan for the area this week.

The neighbourhood, currently referred to as Heritage Valley Neighbourhood 14, will be on 127 hectares of Alberta government-owned land, located west of 127th Street SW between Ellerslie Road and 28th Avenue SW. 

The structure of this new neighbourhood has been designed with an LRT station in mind. A hospital set to be completed in 2030 is also planned for the neighbourhood, along with auxiliary health-care properties and businesses situated around the facility.

"This will be a major employment node, which quite frankly there is not very many of in southwest Edmonton," Coun. Tim Cartmell told CBC Radio's Edmonton AM on Tuesday. Cartmell represents the ward where this neighbourhood will be located. 

"There's a real hope that this will perhaps limit some of the community pressures that we have."

The city's plan says the neighbourhood would eventually have a new LRT station along with a variety of residential and commercial land uses. Tt also plans to preserve a large, natural area of aspen, poplar and white spruce trees, plus develop stormwater ponds, an interconnected trail network and a centrally located park.

"The development of the plan was a collaborative effort between the city and the province," Rhonda Toohey, the city's acting branch manager of the planning department, said Monday in a news release.

We'll hear all about a new suburban neighbourhood that's just received the green light in the south west of the city. 6:35

"This close collaboration has resulted in a plan that establishes a clear vision for the future development of this important node in Heritage Valley that is expected to be home to as many as 3,900 people."

At the moment though, it's an undeveloped open field that has been used as an experimental farm by the University of Alberta.

"It's essentially open land that was used for agricultural purposes until the city got to it," Cartmell said.

This development is a long time coming, Cartmell said. Had this space remained dormant much longer, the growth of the city would have moved around it and further south, adding to Edmonton's sprawl.

To the south corner of the new neighbourhood will be an Edmonton public high school that is under construction and set to open next year. Cartmell said the school is a key feature for the area, which could generate more interest for people to buy homes.

Before that can happen though, Cartmell said the land will need to be developed with basic utilities, a process that will take a few years.

Cartmell said he's unsure how many years it will be until residential and commercial land will be for sale in this neighbourhood, as this depends on the province as the landowner as well as on market conditions.

Historically, neighbourhoods take around 10 to 15 years to build after a neighbourhood plan has been approved.

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