Council for the Rural Municipality of Ritchot has given the green light for a large residential development in Ile des Chenes.

Landmark Planning & Design Inc applied for an amendment to Ritchot's zoning bylaw on behalf of Terracon Developments Ltd. Amendments included rezoning affected areas from Residential General 8000 and Agricultural Limited Zone to Residential General 5000 and Parks and Recreation. 

There were also a number of variances requested, including reducing front yard setbacks for single-family lots, rear yard setbacks and side yard requirements.

Ritchot Mayor Chris Ewen says this development will go up on the south end of Ile des Chenes, noting currently this farmer's field butts right up against the last few houses in town. 

"This location is the last real piece of land the town of Ile des Chenes has to expand," notes Ewen. "It's quite a large section."

According to Ewen, the first phase of this development will include somewhere between 100 and 110 single-family homes and about 60 multi-family dwellings. But, he says this is about more than just the new homes. Ewen says there will be some nice retention ponds and gorgeous walkways throughout, plus a very unique town square centre in the middle of this development.

"I think they have a great concept and I really look forward to seeing the outcome of it," adds Ewen.

The Ritchot Mayor says though there is growth happening throughout his municipality, Ile des Chenes is the only remaining community that still needs that blend of single-family and two-family opportunities, to go alongside apartment blocks, condominiums and townhouses. And, he says this will really give Ritchot an opportunity to grow economically.

"This is about the commercial opportunities that people have wanted for years in Ile des Chenes," notes Ewen. "With this opportunity of potentially 800 to 1200 new people over the next ten years, this is exactly what towns need to see those business opportunities that people have always hoped for."

Ewen admits he expected Wednesday's public hearing to be more contentious than it was. He notes they received about a dozen objections, much fewer than what is required to send the matter to the municipal board. Ewen says there were a number of objections from neighbours over increased traffic, a potential threat to community safety and the loss of country living.

"A lot of valid concerns," he says. "Council will make sure that we all do our due diligence to create a development agreement that works for not just the community of Ile des Chenes but the whole municipality."