The northern stretch of Henderson Highway could soon look considerably different.
The East Kildonan-Transcona community committee voted to amend the North Henderson Highway Secondary Plan on Dec. 11. The move would allow for the rezoning of 2090 Henderson Hwy. and the demolition of a residential home on the site.
The Standing Policy Committee will vote on the decision to amend the secondary plan and to rezone the property on Jan. 15.
The change is the first step in allowing Betty and Werner Neufeld of East St. Paul to build a three-storey, 12-unit condominium complex on the 66-foot wide, 23,430-sq. ft. property. The building would be comprised of double garages on the first floor with living space on the second and third levels.
The Neufelds plan to move into one of the units upon completion.
"We’re looking to downsize into something like that," Betty said. "We thought it would be a good location for ourselves and we could accommodate several other units."
However, local residents balked at the plan during the community committee hearing. Residents expressed concerns over the complex’s effect on their personal privacy and on the riverbank. They also worry about increased traffic along an already-busy corridor and about a potential infringement on Bunn’s Creek Parkway.
Cheryl Pakosh, who lives immediately to the north of the property with her husband Darrell and their children Riley and Caden, opposes the proposed development.
Her family has lived in their house for more than 20 years, renovating it from a small cottage to a family home. Pakosh and her neighbours have vowed to continue fighting the project, but said she and her family are undecided as to what they’ll do if it ends up being built.
"We have a beautiful home and a beautiful property that we worked very hard to upgrade over the years," Pakosh said. "I’m concerned that there will be a solid 300-foot-plus wall on a narrow property that overlooks ours.
"Our privacy is grossly affected."
Neufeld said she and her husband have had conversations with local residents and will attempt to work with them to find a compromise.
Neufeld stressed the residents’ concerns over the complex sitting near the Bunn’s Creek Greenway are unfounded, as she and her husband plan to build the parking lot alongside the park.
Coun. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) said other similar projects are being built in the community — including one directly across the street — because people are demanding them.
"There’s a lot of demand in North Kildonan, especially for people who want to stay in North Kildonan but want to get out of their single-family homes," Browaty said.
"They have friends and family out this way, they have their doctors’ appointments, there are stores they’re used to. A lot of people want to stay in their own area."
Browaty added he would have "had trouble voting for this" if the values of neighbouring properties would be negatively impacted.