Applications for a new fourplex planned for Jessie Avenue were approved by City Centre community committee despite neighbours voicing their displeasure with recommended deviations from the area plan.
On April 9, the committee approved rezoning the property from residential single family-small to residential multi-family-small, and approved variances for a front yard of 20 feet instead of 25 feet and a west corner side yard of four feet instead of five feet. The approved variances allow the building to cover 45 per cent of the lot, the maximum under the Corydon-Osborne Neighbourhood Plan.
"I remind you that variances were intended, in my understanding, to be used only in exceptional circumstances," Cheryl Hobbs, a member of the Corydon-Osborne Community Voice group, told the committee.
Hobbs was one of half a dozen community members who spoke in opposition to the proposal, requesting the committee approve the rezoning but deny the variances, suggesting the developer propose a plan that doesn’t require variances.
Hobbs said she was concerned "development by variance," would continue in the neighbourhood and suggested the integrity of the Corydon-Osborne Neighbourhood Plan would be threatened if the variances were granted.
The applicant, Srena Homes Inc., plans to build a two-storey, four-unit multifamily residential complex with five parking spots on the 6,017-square-foot lot. The units average 1,400-square-feet of floor space.
Community members also expressed dismay in not being consulted by the developer prior to the public hearing.
"It’s a shame that between the planners and developer no one thought it was important enough to engage with the adjacent homeowner or the area residents," Dennis Swayze told the committee.
According to a city planner’s report, the rezoning would result in a modest increase in density and increase housing options. The report also stated the proposed variances will enable the establishment of a "contextually sensitive" four unit multi-family development on a corner lot, "As envisioned in the Complete Communities direction strategy and in alignment with the Corydon Osborne Area Plan."
Coun. Sherri Rollins (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry) moved approval of the rezoning and variances, with a condition that the total lot coverage be verified by the appropriate City department.
"This project will provide housing choice to the neighbourhood," she said. "There is multifamily examples, including across the street, and I truly believe that the Corydon plan is built to address some of the barriers to housing that Winnipeggers face."
Rollins also lamented the lack of community consultation on the proposal.
"It’s in moments like this with respect to infill, with even advocates of infill, it becomes really difficult," she said. "That was a big error and I don’t like that."
The Winnipeg Art Gallery received $1,500 community incentive grants from both the Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry and Daniel McIntyre wards and $1,000 from the River Heights-Fort Garry ward for its Vision Exchange exhibit.
Vision Exchange: Perspectives from India to Canada is a travelling exhibition organized by the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Alberta, according to documents submitted to the City. It is the first exhibition at the WAG to showcase artworks exclusively by contemporary artists from India and artists of Indian heritage living in Canada.
While he was ultimately persuaded to contribute, Coun. Orlikow (River Heights-Fort Garry) noted the exhibition doesn’t meet CIG criteria.
"This is something that to me is so far outside of the scope of the CIG and I have denied other applications before for transportation costs and conventions that come to Winnipeg," Orlikow said.
"I think this sets a bad precedent for us."
Macdonald Youth Services will have to wait at least one more month to find out if it will receive funding from the City of Winnipeg for its Planting the Seeds of Reconciliation project.
The non-profit, youth-serving organization’s request for a $40,000 community incentive grant from the City Centre community committee, Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry ward allowance, was laid over until May 7.
Rollins said she wanted to introduce the group to another potential funding partner before committing funds for the project.
Documents submitted to the City show MYS plans to install a removable tipi, removable sweat lodge, teaching area, fire pit and bee apiary along the riverbank behind its location at 175 Mayfair Ave.
The space "will serve as a ceremonial ground where youth, families and staff can learn and heal together. Indigenous knowledge training and weekly traditional teachings for MYS staff, volunteers and foster parents will take place at this site. Monthly moon, water, pipe and young men and women ceremonies will also take place," documents state. The total project is estimated to cost $80,640.
The following organizations received per capita grants:
• The River-Osborne Community Centre received $800 from the Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry ward for its community gardens.
• Brock Corydon School Parent Advisory Council received $500 from the River Heights-Fort Garry ward for its Community Fun Fair.
• Rockwood School Parent Advisory Council received $500 for a picnic and inflatables for children from the River Heights-Fort Garry ward.
• General Byng School and Grant Park High School received $100 and $500 respectively for its graduation celebrations from the River Heights-Fort Garry ward.
• J.B. Mitchell School received $500 for its family fun fair from the River Heights-Fort Garry ward.