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This article was published 5/5/2015 (836 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Friends of Upper Fort Garry is appealing the city's decision to deny them a permit for a temporary surface parking lot at Upper Fort Garry Provincial Park.
Jerry Gray, the chairman of the board, said because their planned interpretive centre is years away from completion, they want to use the space in the southwest corner to help generate revenue.
"It has always been a surface parking lot, so we are just asking permission to use it as one for a couple years," he said.
'It has always been a surface parking lot, so we are just asking permission to use it as one for a couple years'-- Jerry Gray, chairman of the Friends of Upper Fort Garry
The 3.5-acre site, which is often described as the birthplace of Winnipeg, is situated on Main Street between Assiniboine Avenue and Broadway.
After years in development, the first phase of the park opened late last year, thanks to more than $12 million raised through private donations and public dollars.
However, there is still millions of dollars needed to complete the park, including finishing the heritage wall and the $13-million interpretive centre.
City officials denied the permit on the basis it would "create an adverse effect on amenities, safety and convenience of the adjacent property and adjacent area" and "is not consistent with Plan Winnipeg and any applicable secondary plan."
Gray said the city initially denied the request because of a city policy banning new surface parking lots downtown, but Gray is hoping it'll make an exception in this case.
The appeal is expected to be considered by the city's downtown development, heritage and riverbank management committee on May 25.
Gray said the surface parking lot will generate about $90,000 annually and will have between 50 and 60 spaces.
"So for a non-profit charity, that is a huge amount of money," he said.
This is not the first time the city has blocked the non-profit's attempts to operate a surface parking lot at this site.
In 2012, the non-profit asked the city's permission to operate a temporary surface parking lot at the same southwest corner.
Then-mayor Sam Katz expressed disappointment at the request, telling the Free Press, "That's going the exact opposite direction the city is moving towards."
The request was denied.