More than 60 people attended the Precinct K public forum on May 22 to learn about the Precinct K plan and discuss their concerns.
Hosted by Save Our Seine (SOS) and Outdoor Urban Recreational Spaces Winnipeg (OURS-Winnipeg), the evening featured presentations by Denis Gautron, volunteer president of SOS, Michele Kading, SOS executive director; and Pam Lucenkiw, co-chair, and Wilma Sotas of OURS-Winnipeg.
Precinct K is an area of approximately 547 acres made up of residential, agricultural, and commercial lands. It is bordered by Royalwood, Island Lakes, Lagimodière Boulevard, and the Perimeter Highway. Genstar owns 45 per cent of the area, and wants to begin development in 2015.
Major issues with the Precinct K plan identified by the presenters included: how quickly the plan is moving through approval stages; a lack of public consultation and comprehensive approach; and the land acquisition and land dedication process.
Specifically for Royalwood residents, the plan will impact the extension of the Bois-des-Esprits, and the potential for a four-lane, two-direction road behind Bridgetown Drive, which runs between Shorehill Drive and Southside Drive.
The Bois-des-Esprits and Seine River Greenway represent a "perfect classroom for today’s generation of children," Gautron noted.
However, the Precinct K Plan does not allow for high priority wildlife, forest, and riverbank greenspaces to be conserved as a whole, Kading explained.
Land would be acquired on a parcel-by-parcel basis, with no possible way to carry the Bois-des-Esprits trails south along the Seine River towards the Perimeter.
Based on a hypothetical map and calculations, Kading estimated the land near the Seine River behind Bridgetown Drive in Royalwood would be best suited to wildlife enhancements and/or public access to extended Bois-des-Esprits trails.
The Precinct K Plan proposes an extension of Warde Avenue and a four-lane road in roughly the same area.
According to SOS, "the approval of this land use development plan is being rushed, forever closing the doors to an opportunity to sustain and enhance greenspace along the Seine river corridor."
The entire presentation is available online at saveourseine.com.
Since the May 22 meeting, the next step in the development of Precinct K has been approved by City Council. A Riel public hearing is to be officially announced and set for Thurs., June 26 at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall.
Attendees may speak or observe and may register to indicate support of, or opposition to, the Precinct K Plan.
For those unable to attend, comments may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOS invites Royalwood residents to contact the organization by e-mail at email@example.com with questions regarding the Precinct K Plan.
Tanya Misseghers is a community correspondent for Royalwood.