Councillor motions seek cleaner city

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New efforts that would make it easier to demolish vacant and derelict buildings, and otherwise clean up the city, will be debated by council.

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New efforts that would make it easier to demolish vacant and derelict buildings, and otherwise clean up the city, will be debated by council.

Coun. Cindy Gilroy raised three new motions to target the issues at Thursday’s council meeting.

The first calls for city staff to prepare a bylaw change that would let Winnipeg’s planning, property and development director, in consultation with the affected ward councillor, approve demolition permits for residential buildings without the currently required public hearing. Council would be required to approve any bylaw change.

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City councillor Cindy Gilroy said she hopes new rules can allow some buildings to be removed without a redevelopment plan from their owners.

“It is really important… that we make sure that we take down these buildings relatively fast,” said Gilroy, who serves as council’s property and development chairwoman.

The Daniel McIntyre councillor said she hopes new rules can allow some buildings to be removed without a redevelopment plan from their owners. The changes are intended to apply to select buildings involved with repeated health, crime and/or safety risks.

Gilroy’s motion notes boarded-up, empty buildings have been known to attract fires and result in increased insurance costs for neighbours.

Meanwhile, the councillor is also pushing the city to request a provincial legislation change that would allow more fines for neighbourhood livability bylaw offences to be added to property tax bills. Gilroy said she believes it would be a more effective way to ensure payment for certain repeated offences, such as garbage dumping on private property.

If all fines in that category could be added to property tax bills, non-payment of the tax bill would also give the city an option to even take over properties of concern, her motion notes.

In a third motion, Gilroy calls for the city to begin requiring multi-family residences to include a minimum number of garbage bins on their properties to combat littering. The councillor said this should apply whether the owners receive municipal or private trash collection. She said a building in her ward did not have a garbage bin, leaving garbage to pile up excessively.

“In order to get an occupancy permit, we have to know that they have a garbage plan in mind and I think that will deal with a lot of the inner city garbage that we’re seeing,” said Gilroy.

All three motions are set for automatic referral to committee meetings following the Oct. 26 municipal election. Gilroy is seeking a new term in Daniel McIntyre, facing two other candidates.

joyanne.pursaga@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @joyanne_pursaga

Joyanne Pursaga

Joyanne Pursaga
Reporter

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Joyanne loves to tell the stories of this city, especially when politics is involved. Joyanne became the city hall reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press in early 2020.

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