Headingley is growing steadily, and it’s time for a new development plan to regulate future changes.
The municipality’s proposed new development plan was on display at a public open house at the Headingley Community Centre on Oct. 29.
A series of boards depicting elements of the plan were set up by Landmark Planning and Design, the company hired to oversee the public review process. Local residents were invited to take a look and submit their comments, which will be reviewed and passed on to Headingley council.
A formal public hearing will be held before the new development plan is passed.
Headingley mayor Wilf Taillieu attended the afternoon session and is pleased with the response from residents.
"It went smoothly, and we had about 200 people come through," he said.
He said that he didn’t hear of any major objections to the proposed new plan.
The current development plan was approved in January 2008, and Headingley’s continuing residential and commercial growth is fuelling the need for a new plan.
A map of the municipality shows proposed land use changes that include new residential sections north of Portage Avenue and south of Roblin Boulevard on land that is now zoned for agricultural use.
The municipality’s current development plan forbids any new livestock operations from locating there. An agricultural land parcel is generally 80 acres, but small-scale agricultural operations are permitted.
The new development plan will follow the municipal recreation plan, thereby compelling new residential development to include pedestrian and cycling trails which would ideally connect to the existing trail system and the Headingley Grand Trunk Trail.
Headingley Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee chair Karl Gompf wants to see a stronger commitment within the new development plan to extending the trail system, preserving green space and providing residents with opportunities for outdoor recreation activities.
"The development plan has to look to the future and be visionary," he said. "We need a vision that will secure parks and recreation in the development plan."
The presentation is available on the RM’s website, www.rmofheadingley.ca
Headingley growing at a rapid pace
According to information presented at the open house, Headingley’s population has doubled to over 3,200 since 1996, and the average annual growth rate is 7%. The fastest-growing age groups are 25 to 44 and 45 to 64 years.
This rapid pace puts Headingley at the top of the 13 rural municipalities within the Winnipeg Capital Region in terms of growth. However, Headingley’s population includes inmates at the Headingley Correctional Institute and the Women’s Correctional Centre.
In 2012, private residences accounted for 62% of the total municipal tax assessment, with commercial enterprises comprising 21%. While land zoned for agricultural use covers 67% of the municipality’s land base, farming operations made up just 5% of the overall tax assessment.
Over the last 10 years, Headingley has averaged 32 new housing starts annually, but this figure will increase if the overall growth rate rises. Even with the current residential growth rate, the consulting company estimates that between 500 to 1,000 acres will be needed to accommodate residential expansion over the next 25 years.