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Public peruses plan for development

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A Winnipeg developer spent a blustery January night looking for public feedback on its proposal to establish a new residential area in northwest Winnipeg.

Terracom Development hosted a come-and-go open house at Immanuel Lutheran Church on King Edward Street on Jan. 24, where residents to look over details of "Precinct T", the first of two parcels of land between Inkster and Jefferson the developer hopes to eventually develop on.

Precinct T, about 120 acres of land bordered by King Edward Street, Commercial Avenue and Jefferson Avenue, is one of many parcels of land being considered for development under the city’s "OurWinnipeg" development plan.

The precinct plan itself is still in the very early stages, as the land still has to be rezoned from General Manufacturing to New Communities. The open house was in connection with Terracom’s efforts to obtain that redesignation.

Terracom’s plan for the area sets aside 93 acres for residential space, aiming at a mixture of low, medium and high density housing to accommodate varying levels of income.

Matthew Glavin, who was at the open house representing Terracom, said it is still too early in the planning stage to say how many houses would be built in the area.

"This precinct plan is conceptual, so the actual numbers will come out at the subdivision application stage . . . We have to get feedback from the open house to determine the balance of high, medium and low density we’re going to have," Glavin said.

Just under 20 acres is set aside for parks and open spaces, while a little over seven acres on the eastern edge of the property is designated for institutions such as health and educational facilities.
The area would be served by Keewatin Street, Jefferson Avenue, King Edward Street, Adsum Drive and Commercial Avenue, as well as Chief Peguis Trail when it eventually extends into the area.

A first open house was held in June 2012, addressing how residents felt the area should be developed.

"There were questions we asked at the first open house, primarily what do people envision for the area. We asked if they’d like to see the area maintained as an industrial area," Glavin said.

The response, he said, leaned heavily toward setting up a residential zone, and so the January presentation was "a continuation of that," elaborating on the company’s plans for developing the land.

Terracom’s presentation noted that a point of disagreement among residents was that the streets would be too narrow to support the increase in traffic.
Meadows Park resident Joan Smith, who attended the Jan. 24 open house, had similar concerns.

"We’re really concerned about the traffic at King Edward," she said. "It was narrowed down at Inkster, so I hope the city is really looking at the transportation issue in our immediate area."
New schools were also on her mind, noting that Sisler High School and Meadows West School are already packed with students.

"We need the city to agree to have schools built if our area is getting another (residential area)," she said.

Glavin said their traffic studies, which use only a very rough approximation of how many residents may move in, have indicated King Edward Street would likely need to be widened. He said Terracom would be collecting the public’s feedback for review to make adjustments to the plan before making its application to the city for internal review, before it goes through the approval process.

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