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On November 1, 2019, the Government of Alberta announced plans to construct a new K-12 francophone school in Beaumont. Funding for the school’s construction was confirmed by the province in April 2020. Following the initial announcement, the City of Beaumont was responsible for identifying and acquiring a site that meets the needs of the school board and could be ready for construction by fall 2020.
Administration reviewed a number of potential sites throughout Beaumont and determined that Ruisseau was the only viable location that could be made available within the required time period that did not require significant and adverse financial contributions from the City for servicing and road access. The Ruisseau site was presented to Council and approval was granted to begin discussions with the landowner for acquisition.
The City strives to carry out public engagement so residents can contribute to decision making for City policies, programs, projects and services. As there were no alternative site options that could be considered, the City did not seek feedback from the public for the school site selection process. The City is providing information to assist residents with understanding the decision-making process and ultimate solution.
The City’s development standards and approval process are intended to minimize the potential visual and traffic impacts of the school. The school building height, design, location and landscaping will need to meet the requirements set out in Beaumont’s Land Use Bylaw 944-19, and the building’s appearance must conform to the Beaumont Urban Design Guidelines for institutional buildings. As the school will be developed with direct access to a major collector road (66 Street) and an arterial road (Range Road 243), traffic impacts on residential streets in the area are unlikely. However, the potential traffic flows and roadway requirements will be studied in detail as part of the site development process, and the site will be designed to minimize impacts.
Additionally, like others in Beaumont, this school/park site will be designed to support public access to open space. Our Places and Play, the City’s recreation, parks and facilities master plan, as well as the Open Space and Trails Master Plan, provide guidance on the type of park space to be considered and how public access and trails will be incorporated.
In practice, this means the building will be located close to 66 Street, and the schoolyard will be located next to Four Seasons Park, with shared-use pathway access through the site.
The site is designated in the Ruisseau Outline Plan as Municipal Reserve, which is provided by the developer as public land under Division 8 of the Municipal Government Act. Under Section 671(2) of the Act, Municipal Reserve may be used as a public park or recreation area, or for school board purposes. Therefore, a formal amendment to the Municipal Reserve designation is not required to support a school on the site. This site is to be laid out in a way that reflects the Outline Plan’s direction to provide programmable space for sports fields and enhance neighbourhood access to Four Seasons Park.
The parcel is currently zoned Agricultural Holdings (AH) district. This land use district is intended to support rural agricultural activities before the land transitions to urban development. It permits a limited number of mainly agricultural and rural residential uses. In order to allow for the development of a school and a public park, redistricting is required. As part of the agreement with the landowner, the City is taking this opportunity to redistrict the rest of the neighbourhood through the same process, so that it can be completed in the future according to the Ruisseau Outline Plan.
The Integrated Neighbourhood (IN) district is proposed for the school/park site. This is the land-use district that is used for all other school sites in Beaumont, except for École Beau Meadow School. It includes building design and site layout standards that are appropriate for a school.
The Conventional Neighbourhood (CN) district is proposed for the remainder of the Ruisseau neighbourhood. This district is used for all other established residential areas in the City outside of the inner ring road. It is intended to support lower density forms of residential development similar to what currently exists in Beaumont.
For more information on each of these land-use districts, please see Our Zoning Blueprint: Beaumont Land Use Bylaw 944-19 and the Land Use Districts Map.
The yellow area shown on the Redistricting Map is proposed to be redistricted to Conventional Neighbourhood District according to the land use concept (Figure 4, p. 10) of the Ruisseau Outline Plan, which was approved by Council in 2013.
Redistricting is the next step in the development process after the Outline Plan has been approved. Redistricting implements the land use concept by amending the Land Use Bylaw so the district that applies to the land allows the development that is shown in the land use concept. Agricultural Holdings district allows mainly farming uses, so the land shown in yellow on the redistricting map is proposed to be rezoned to Conventional Neighbourhood to permit a residential area. Because Conventional Neighbourhood allows all the housing, stormwater management facilities, and park uses that were planned for that area in the land use concept, these land uses are all covered by the yellow area on the redistricting map. The land use concept provides more detail on what land uses are planned for what area of Ruisseau.
Appropriate school facilities are urgently needed for our growing population. The City has been working with the school board to identify a potential school site since fall 2019, when design funding for a new École St-Vital was first announced. Through a review of currently planned school sites and other available land, it was determined that this was the only site in the City that could be serviced and prepared in time to meet the provincial government’s timelines for construction.
The Ruisseau redistricting application was circulated to regulatory agencies and nearby landowners for information and comments from May 29 to June 19, 2020. The final redistricting proposal will be presented to Council for approval by bylaw. As part of this process, members of the public will have the opportunity to speak to Council at an online public hearing scheduled for July 14, 2020. Please view the Notice of Public Hearing for details on how to attend and participate.
Once the redistricting is approved by Council, the school/park site may be subdivided from the larger parcel. The City must also issue a development permit before the construction of the school building can begin.
With the location identified, site design can begin according to the needs of the school board and the dimensions of the site, and in compliance with Beaumont’s Land Use Bylaw 944-19 and the Beaumont Urban Design Guidelines. Once the site design is complete, Alberta Infrastructure will submit a development permit application to the City of Beaumont for review and approval. The development permit application will be circulated to adjacent landowners only if the applicant is applying for a variance to the Land Use Bylaw requirements. Once a decision on the application has been made, the permit and site plan will become public and be posted on the City website at www.beaumont.ab.ca/201/Development-Proposals.
If you have any additional questions about this redistricting application, please contact the Planning and Development department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 780-929-8782.