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Seeking a plan for ‘Middlechurch North’

West St. Paul seeks public input for development that could see 500 new homes

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West St. Paul is eyeing development of some of the most valuable plots of land in the northernmost part of the municipality.

On Wed., June 5, the RM will host a public planning workshop as part of the first steps toward creating a plan that will guide development of a 280-hectare swath of land to be known as Middlechurch North.

"We’re looking for people to come out, if they have an interest and feel strongly about development . . . to put ideas forward about anything they want to see incorporated in the plan," Mayor Bruce Henley said last week.

"Development is going to occur in that area."

Under provincial law, municipalities must create a secondary plan before any development can occur. The plan includes everything from outlining land uses, lot sizes, transportation needs, and wastewater plans.

Much of the land is currently zoned for agricultural use, but Henley expects much of that to convert to residential and mixed use. It will allow the area to become a dense, "settlement" area similar to the existing Middlechurch neighbourhood, Henley said.

Because a majority of the land sits along the Red River, it’s some of the most valuable in the municipality — half-acre lots can be worth up to $300,000, according to Henley.

Henley pointed to River’s Edge, a wealthy 97-home subdivision already in the planning area, which has an assessment value near $50 million.

Depending on zoning rules created under the plan, the area could see up to 500 new homes, and provide valuable new income for services in the municipality, according to Henley.

The Manitoba Bureau of Statistics estimates the province’s population will reach 1.5 million by 2028, or about 15,500 new persons per year, with immigrants accounting for two-thirds of those. Many of those newcomers are settling into the ever-expanding northern fringe of Winnipeg.

"People need to locate, and it’s best to be prepared to handle that growth," Henley said.

"We want to have the right land use policies in place so we’re not surprised by some type of development we’re not comfortable with.

"That’s why we’re asking for the public’s input," he said.

The area is located just west of the Red River, and is bordered by the RM’s boundary in the north and the Rivercrest subdivision in the south.

The meeting runs from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Sunova Centre at 48 Holland Rd.

For more info, or to register for the workshop, call Lauren Lange at 204-943-3178 or email langel@mmm.ca, or go online at www.weststpaul.com.

matt.preprost@canstarnews.com

Facebook.com/TheTimesWPG
Twitter: @timesWPG

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