A Leduc County Area Structure Plan (ASP), combined with the recent annexation of Leduc County lands by the Town of Devon, should provide a long-awaited boost for growth for the town.
These two plans are exactly what town Chief Administrative Officer, Tony Kulbisky believes will propel Devon into the next stage for growth and make the town a prospective location for not only new residents to move to, but also for new businesses to call home in the not so distant future.
The South Devon Industrial ASP, which encompasses lands just south of Devon near the Leduc #1 Discovery Centre, will be looked at by Leduc County council on May 12. At county council's April 7 meeting, the consideration of the bylaw to adopt the ASP was deferred to May 12.
The ASP is also part of the Leduc County/Town of Devon Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP), which identifies future industrial development opportunities, specifically medium and light industrial uses.
Kulbisky credited the Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) for making the entire process as speedy as it was.
As he explained, the IDP not only planned for the annexation, but also outlined the future use of that land once annexation was complete.
The IDP planning process consulted with residents, municipalities, and other stakeholders. Changes were made along the way to ensure the town would be in the best position to move forward.
Kulbisky said a well-planned IDP should be an essential part of any annexation process.
Development plans for the ASP aren’t in the near future, as joint meetings will need to take place between the landowners of the annexed lands to determine which type of industry and residential development will work and flourish in the area.
“We have to look at transit corridors, utilities and map out where everything must be in order to have new residential and industrial development in the south,” explained Kulbisky.
“Once all of that is approved then we’ll start seeing some subdivision plans come to council.”
The annexed lands now push the town’s boundaries east past Range Road 262 as far as Range Road 261.
Kulbisky credited the annexation’s approval to the town’s strong relationship with Leduc County and regular joint council committee meetings for making the process seamless.
Now that the annexation is complete, Kulbisky admitted it’s about putting the plans into action.
“It’s one thing to get a plan approved, it’s another thing to actually implement and see how [it’s] going to work out,” Kulbisky commented.
He believes the area will provide opportunities for businesses to plant their roots and in turn, give people reasons to relocate to the area with the planned residential development on the annexed lands.
“The business node development to the south of Highway 19 will bode well for residential development. The more housing options we have bodes well for Devon residents and anyone looking to relocate to the area,” said Kulbisky.
“We have huge potential for upside in growth, but we need to get these initial services in the ground first.”
Combined with the recent announcement the province will twin Highway 19, Kulbisky feels Devon will soon become an area of the capital region more businesses and people will want to call home.
“Twinning 19 is a huge deal for Devon. It’s going to create a lot of different access points for the town and for future development.”
Although development for the South Devon Industrial ASP, the recently annexed lands and the twinning of Highway 19 is a few years away, there will be evident growth for the town in the very near future.
The Ravines of Devon (located in the area of Ravine Drive and the soon to be extended Michigan Street) with Qualico Edmonton is currently in the midst of constructing homes on the south side of the town and completion of this new residential area will likely be seen as early as spring of 2016.
The housing project will be developed over the next six years and will “grow to accommodate approximately 750 people.” (information courtesy of Qualico Edmonton).
“We haven’t seen housing starts in the community in some time and you’ll be able to see that as you drive near the town on Highway 19 next year around this time. It’s going to be exciting to see that.”
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