Developer hopes to bring DQ to Barrhead

Area residents express concerns over water drainage during a subdivision appeal board hearing

BARRHEAD – A St. Albert developer will have to wait a little longer to learn if his plan to open a Dairy Queen (DQ) in Barrhead can proceed.

On Feb. 14, the Town of Barrhead subdivision appeal board met to hear an appeal about LKS Construction’s development plan for the fast-food franchise on two lots at 5117-5127-49th Street (Highway 33).

They have 15 days to issue their decision.

And although the lots currently have single, unattached residences on them, they are zoned as a C2-Highway Commercial District.

Under the town’s land-use bylaw, restaurants are permitted, but drive-throughs are considered a discretionary use.

Mike and Dorothy Kruse, along with Thom and Megan Kruse, appealed the development permit, citing the lack of a site grading and water drainage plan, noting concerns about potential flooding of their nearby properties.

Legislative services and development director Cheryl Callihoo also stated the municipality received e-mails and calls from other residents in the vicinity of the proposed development concerning potential odours coming from the restaurant, increased traffic and noise and light pollution.

“We actually support the proposal,” Megan said, noting she and her husband live two lots away from the proposed development. “We chose to proceed with the appeal because of the lack of information.”

She added that she is specifically concerned that the developer has not taken adequate measures to prevent water from rolling off the pavement of the restaurant’s parking lot onto their property, which already has water drainage issues.

“Our property is one of the lowest on the block and is subject to flooding during intense rainfalls and the spring melt,” Megan said, adding that as a result, they often have to utilize pumps to get rid of the water.

She added their water issues are compounded by a nearby four-plex and a storm drain near a community mailbox that is often blocked.

Mike said he and his wife Dorothy have been in Barrhead since 1989 and have owned their property since the early 1990s.

“It is a beautiful property, something we always wanted. We have two large vegetable gardens that we spend a lot of time in,” he said, adding he is also concerned that there isn’t an adequate plan to deal with water run-off as well as the lack of any assurances.

Mike also expressed his concern that if the runoff were to flood his property, it would be contaminated.

“Our gardens are organic. Then there is the noise and visual impairments,” he said, adding there also seems to be errors in the site measurements.

Elaine Dickie, who owns a nearby rental property, said she was also concerned about the potential of added runoff, noting she already needs a sump pump.

LKS Construction owner Kevin Lim has been a contractor for 15 years and a developer for seven, and as such, he said he has a lot of experience dealing with and alleviating issues such as assuring adequate water drainage.

His other developments include multiple gas stations along with two other DQs.

“I am confident, once we build it and start operating, that the town will love it,” Lim said, noting in the case of the Barrhead DQ, he will be the owner/operator.

He also apologized for the lack of documentation in his original development proposal, noting there were delays due to the pandemic.

Lim added he planned to deal with the water drainage through a three per cent grading and four to six-inch curbs, which would lead the water to the highway and a storm sewer, or two catch basins at the rear of the property leading to a storm sewer.

And although he noted that he was willing to work with area residents to alleviate any concerns, in many areas his hands were tied, as specifications for the building, landscaping, et cetera, were determined by Dairy Queen’s head office.

Lim also quelled concerns that he would demolish a home on a third property (which he also owns) as part of the development, saying he plans to renovate the home plus garage and use them as an office.

He noted the structures would also aid in blocking any light from the signs to those living behind.

However, Mike noted that it was not just the light of the signs (two on the south side of the property and one on the highway), but from vehicles’ headlights coming in and out of the parking lot along with the drive-thru.

He then suggested that a fence could be constructed along the back of the property, which would help lessen some of the noise and light pollution.

Lim agreed, adding he would include a fence in his updated plans.

Barry Kerton,

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