EAST St. Paul has appealed the City of Winnipeg's decision to seal off two North Kildonan roads -- but the rural municipality insists its action has nothing to do with a proposed development inside the Perimeter Highway.
In March, Winnipeg's city council approved a motion to close Raleigh Street and Gateway Road to deny access to a shopping centre proposed for 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. A subdivision proposal by Walmart and developer SmartCentres is awaiting approval from Red River Planning, the regional planning authority.
North Kildonan Coun. Jeff Browaty pushed for the road closures as a means of ensuring East St. Paul highway access to the development is constructed. Some North Kildonan residents and East St. Paul residents who live inside the Perimeter had expressed concern their residential streets will be used as access routes to the development.
East St. Paul Mayor Lawrence Morris, however, said the city and his municipality are suffering from a misunderstanding. He said East St. Paul has appealed the city decision to close the streets to ensure existing residents continue to have access to Raleigh and Gateway.
"We're not pushing for the subdivision," Morris said in a telephone interview on Monday. "We're not sure whether they have the right to close off a street that's been there for years."
A hearing is slated to come before the provincial municipal board in September, but may be pushed back to allow Red River Planning to make its decision first.
Morris said all parties are waiting to hear whether the province will support new access from the Perimeter as part of a planned construction of a cloverleaf at the Perimeter and Lagimodiere.
Browaty said Monday in a statement development of the site is inevitable but should wait until proper transportation infrastructure is built.