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Three-building complex OK’d at community committee

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A new three-building development in North Kildonan has one family disappointed.

Lori Schellenberg, who lives on Chernichan Drive, said she and husband Chris moved into the neighbourhood in 2002 on the understanding the lot behind their property at 1745 Henderson Hwy. was zoned for only 10 housing units. The couple has four children.

However, East Kildonan-Transcona Community Committee ruled on June 18 the Gauthier Ventures Ltd. property could be rezoned to allow a seven-story, 100-unit building to be constructed behind the existing 12-storey building. Two other four-storey units with frontage onto Henderson will also be built as part of the complex.

The seven-storey building still needs to be approved by the Standing Policy Committee on Planning, Property, and Development.

"We’re definitely disturbed because of the density," Schellenberg said. "We have a swimming pool in our backyard and we do spend a lot of time out there. We’re concerned about the noise."

Schellenberg was also disappointed about the lack of contact consultant John Wintrup, the City of Winnipeg’s former principal planner, had made with the community before. She received two drop-off letters in the mailbox, but no open house was held.

Neighbour Craig Sigurdson, who is directly behind the proposed building, knew development was going to come at some point, but he hoped it would hold off longer.

Sigurdson was concerned the new building was only going to have a four-foot setback from his property, but is more satisfied with the 15 feet proposed by Coun. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) at the meeting. He’s trying to look at the positives.

"No one likes a big project like this outside their back door, but maybe it’ll breathe some new life into McIvor Mall," he said. "The old building is looking a little dated, the 12-storey. Maybe this will obscure the view."

Sigurdson said he has been in touch with the developers, and plans to work with them in regard to the way the building shades his property.

In addition to the setback, Browaty stressed the need for two access points to the property, as opposed to the single one originally proposed on the north side by the Nor Villa Hotel. There is also access from the back lane on Fortier Avenue.

The city was also hoping to get the developers to extend the Henderson Highway median northward to Bonner Avenue, but the two sides agreed to extend it to just past the property line to prevent left turns onto the thoroughfare.

Wintrup hopes to begin construction in the fall, noting the company has more complete designs for the four-storey buildings.

"We’re still engaging with residents about the design at the back, as well as the buffering and landscaping," he said. "That one’s a little further away than the two buildings along Henderson Highway."

Browaty said he also asked the developers to look into composite lighting to help minimize the brightness on residents of single-family properties. He’s satisfied the current plan won’t greatly affect current residents.

"This has a minimal implication on the neighbourhood," he said. "We’ve moved as much away from Chernichan as possible."

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