With $192M in Trudough on the line, Mayor Scott Gillingham announced he wants Winnipeg to change zoning regulations for housing. These changes would allow housing of up to 4 stories within 800 meters of transit corridors and up to 4 units on a single lot.
CTV reported: “Gillingham said all would happen without the need for a public hearing or zoning application approved by city council.” Not so fast, said St. Vital Coun. Brian Mayes.
But the Mayor retorted, “It’s going to be very gradual, I don’t think we should expect to see, you know, four plexes popping up all over the city immediately.”
What isn’t gradual is the timeline of the new bylaw. As property owners realized it’s only 3 weeks, they spoke out. Listen here:
In Part 1 of Episode 23 we review an email sent to councillors, that used St. James as an example:
Scope: “Would Ness Avenue be considered a frequent transit corridor? If so, almost all of St. James-Assiniboia would be eligible for four-storey complexes.”
Public Consultation: “There is no time prior to vote for councillors to present this issue to their ward residents and obtain their feedback and concerns in a series of community forums. This would be a major change in practice with significant neighbourhood impacts. Less than three weeks from beginning to end.”
Process: “Councillors voiced frustration with infill being built outside the spirit of the guidelines at the last council meeting. What could happen with future developments without the existing processes? Would there still be an appeal process?”
Noting potential impacts to sewer and water or overland flooding, the key question was, “Would the mayor and councillors want a 4plex built on either side of their homes?”
8:17 – Hear our interview with Bev Pike, coordinator of the South Osborne Residents Group. She was on TGCTS during the 2022 civic election: South Osborne Rep: Next Mayor Must “Be Brave” And Fire City Planners
Her message is that City planners and Councilors ignore fair consultation already to favour developers, and even more corruption will result from Gillingham’s proposals. “He’s implying all sorts of things without evidence… we smell a rat.”
Here’s their inventory of laws broken from 2011- she says it hasn’t gotten better since:
Bev maintains there are 4000 empty housing units in Winnipeg, undercutting the ‘Urban Visionary’ argument the City needs to add 15,000 units to current planned housing starts.
“We see all kinds of shenanigans… And it’s really really hard to fight this level of corruption especially when your own councilor (Sherri Rollins) won’t represent their voters.”
19:49 More from Bev Pike- her stark warning for all residents to defend their rights- before Council votes.
1. Beware emotional blackmail.
2. Never accept insults like NIMBY.
Citing how overbuilding is causing sewage backups in Lord Roberts, she reinforces that these plans are based on “ruining all the mature areas… for developer profit. That’s all it’s about.” She reminds us what Harvey Smith said about backroom horse-trading that gets councillors to sacrifice neighborhoods.
When Marty Gold asks where the skilled trades people will materialize to for these projects, Bev tells of the dangerous shortcuts she’s seen already.
34:47 -Marty closes Episode 23 by noting the block-busting and demographic changes Gillingham is rushing through to help the feds- “It just stinks.”
There’s a scramble among Councilors to get a grip on the growing discontent- let them know what you think!
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