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This article was published 4/5/2015 (724 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Friends of the Upper Fort Garry are appealing the city’s decision to deny them a permit for a temporary surface parking lot at the Upper Fort Garry Heritage park.
The 3.5-acre site, which is often described as the birthplace of Winnipeg, is situated on Main Street between Assiniboine and Broadway Avenue. The park opened its first phase in October. However, the Friends of Upper Fort Garry, still have millions of dollars to raise to complete the park, including finishing the heritage wall and the $13-million interpretive centre.
Jerry Gray, the chair of the board, said because the planned interpretive centre is still years away from completion, they want to use the space in the southwest corner to help generate revenue.
"It has always been a surface parking lot, so we are just asking permission to use it as one for a couple years," he said.
City officials denied the permit on the basis it would "create an adverse effect on amenities, safety and convenience of the adjacent property and adjacent area" and "is not consistent with Plan Winnipeg and any applicable secondary plan."
Gray said the city initially denied their request because of a city policy banning new surface parking lots in the downtown, but Gray is hoping it’ll make an exception in this case.
The appeal will go to consideration to the city’s downtown development, heritage and riverbank management committee on May 25.
Grays says the surface parking lot will generate about $90,000 annually and will have about 50-60 spaces.
"So for a non-profit charity that is a huge amount of money," he said.
This is not the first time the city has blocked the non-profit’s attempts to operate a surface parking lot at this site.
In 2012, the non-profit asked the city's permission to operate a temporary surface parking lot at the same southwest corner of the property to generate operating revenue for less than two years.
Then-mayor Sam Katz expressed disappointment at the request, telling the Free Press, "That's going the exact opposite direction the city is moving towards."
The request was eventually denied.