Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Huge subdivision gets first OK

Changes appease one firm, but not another

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Dennis Smerchanski of Border Chemical in Transcona says proposed changes to the subdivision aren't sufficient. He remains opposed to it.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Enlarge Image

Dennis Smerchanski of Border Chemical in Transcona says proposed changes to the subdivision aren't sufficient. He remains opposed to it. Photo Store

Compromises by a developer to address industry concerns have swayed a civic committee to approve a new residential neighbourhood for north Transcona.

A community committee endorsed North Grassie Properties' amended plan Tuesday night.

"We're a growing city that has need for residential and employment lands," Coun. Russ Wyatt said as the committee accepted the changes.

The Transcona North precinct plan outlines development guidelines for growth on 174 hectares of vacant land between Day Street and the Perimeter Highway.

'We're a growing city that has need for residential and employment lands'

—Coun. Russ Wyatt

North Grassie Properties wants to develop 630 single-family homes, 150 multi-family units and a small-scale commercial enterprise on the eastern portion of that vacant land -- on either side of Redonda Street between Gunn Road and the Transcona Trail.

Border Chemical and Griffin Wheel were opposed to residential development close to their operations. However, Griffin Wheel, which is in Winnipeg, agreed to a series of changes, including the creation of a 10-hectare nature preserve to separate the two firms from the residential development.

Border Chemical, located in the RM of Springfield, said the changes aren't sufficient and it remains opposed to the project.

"Don't create a problem by allowing houses in that area," Dennis Smerchanski, general manager of Border Chemical, told the committee.

Included in the proposal is a 1.2-kilometre buffer zone between the two firms and the adjoining residential development, which an administrative report described as the most extensive in Winnipeg and likely all of Canada.

Smerchanski said the buffer zone isn't sufficient and the city should prohibit residential development between his plant and the Perimeter Highway.

Wyatt called Border's request unrealistic.

Norm Boyle, spokesman for North Grassie Properties, told the committee the developer accepted the compromises to ensure the residential project, known as NorthWoods, goes ahead.

North Grassie Properties has been working on the residential component for seven years. It has been to city hall on two previous occasions, the last time two years ago when it was instructed to work with Border Chemical and Griffin Wheel.

The two companies employ about 300 people and have been in operation for more than 50 years. Both firms are licensed as high-hazard industrial operations.

Development within the buffer zone is restricted only to light industrial uses and storage space.

The civic administration endorsed the precinct plan, describing it as conforming with the city's planning policies and appropriate for the area.

 

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 21, 2014 A5

History

Updated on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 9:43 AM CDT: Corrects typo

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