Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Corydon planning back into limbo

Accusations fly as process bogs again

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The on-again, off-again effort to create a planning framework for the Corydon Village is in limbo again, annoying residents and sparking mutual recriminations between the area councillor and businesspeople.

Last summer, city council's property and development committee dissolved a multi-year effort to create a plan to govern land use in the Corydon Village, citing a lack of balance between the interests of residents and businesses.

After Mayor Sam Katz intervened, city council approved spending $100,000 to hire an external consultant to create a new plan, with input from developers, residents and city hall.

Although a request for proposals to do the job closed several months ago, that consultant hasn't been hired. The committee responsible for the hiring -- made up of councillors, businesspeople and one resident -- has not been able to reach a consensus on how to proceed.

Residents are now calling on Katz to get the process back on track.

"The mayor and the mayor's office promised a neighbourhood-planning process in July, because the last one was shut down at the eleventh hour," said Kerniel Aasland, the newly elected chairman of the Corydon Village Residents Association.

"A request for proposals went out and nothing's been done. This is yet another commitment to set up a set of rules and guidelines that everyone says they want -- and it's just not happening."

Katz's office deffered comment to council's property chairman, North Kildonan Coun. Jeff Browaty, who said the seven-member hiring committee has not been able to meet and choose a consultant. "I'm frustrated right now as well," Browaty said.

Fort Rouge Coun. Jenny Gerbasi, the area councillor and a hiring-committee member, claimed the two businesspeople on the committee -- Winpark Dorchester president Jeff Rabb and Pizza Hotline CEO Jerry Cianflone -- have refused to sign the non-disclosure agreements that would allow them to peruse the applicants.

"I can't believe these two property owners have been given the power to put this process at risk," Gerbasi said.

Rabb, however, said city planners reneged on a promise to let the committee scrutinize all six applicants, instead of just reviewing a short list of three. He claimed Gerbasi isn't interested in any input from the largest residential-property owner in the neighbourhood.

"They gave us a nondisclosure (agreement) to sign which restricted any of our input," he said, adding he will sign an amended agreement.

Aasland said he doesn't care why there is a delay, as long as a plan for his neighbourhood materializes.

"I just want a good process and a good plan, so we all know what the rules are. Right now, it feels almost like anarchy," he said. "That's not the kind of neighbourhood and that's not the kind of city I want to live in."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 3, 2013 A10

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