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Municipality appeals city's decision to block access to proposed Walmart site

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East St. Paul has appealed the City of Winnipeg's decision to seal off two North Kildonan roads if the rural municipality pursues a Walmart development inside the Perimeter Highway.

Walmart and developer SmartCentres want to build a shopping centre on a 37-acre parcel of land southwest of the corner of the Perimeter and Lagimodiere Boulevard. While the land is in East St. Paul, there is no access to the site from the rural municipality.

North Kildonan residents -- as well as some East St. Paul residents who live inside the Perimeter Highway -- have expressed concern their residential streets will be used as access routes to the development.

In March, council approved a motion to close Raleigh Street and Gateway Road to deny access to the proposed development. North Kildonan Coun. Jeff Browaty authored the motion as a means of pressuring East St. Paul and the regional planning authority, Red River Planning, to ensure highway access to the development is built instead.

The rural municipality has appealed the city decision to the provincial municipal board. A hearing is slated for September.

Browaty said Monday in a statement he hopes that hearing can be delayed until Red River Planning issues a decision about zoning approvals for the development.

Browaty said the development of the site is inevitable, but should be done only after proper transportation infrastructure is built.

East St. Paul Mayor Lawrence Morris said his municipality supports the idea of delaying the appeal until after Red River Planning rules on the development. But he said the appeal has nothing to do with the development.

Morris said East St. Paul is concerned about the loss of access to the Perimeter for existing residents. He also said all parties are waiting to hear whether the Selinger government will support new access from the Perimeter as part of a planned construction of a cloverleaf at the Perimeter and Lagimodiere Boulevard.

He said he hopes the city and his municipality will work together and hopes there will be no hard feelings resulting from this dispute.

History

Updated on Monday, August 18, 2014 at 12:16 PM CDT: Corrects figure to 37-acre parcel of land

12:52 PM: Updates with reaction from East St. Paul Mayor

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