Appeal Committee to hear resident’s concerns over Northgate Mall development
Some residents in northwest Winnipeg are raising concerns about a proposed residential development at Northgate Shopping Centre.
In January, the Lord Selkirk – West Kildonan Community Committee heard about the proposed project at Northgate Shopping Centre, which would see some parking lot space be converted into three residential buildings at the corner of Carruthers Avenue and Cottingham Street.
As part of the development, there would be more than 200 residential units with plans to include a library, hall rental and daycare.
Following the committee’s approval of the land variance for the project in January, appeals have been filed against the project by concerned residents.
Several emails sent to the city’s appeal committee – which will hear the concerns on Wednesday – say the proposed project would have negative impacts on the community.
“Increased traffic and congestion due to lack of infrastructure updates. The developer’s plan does not adequately address these issues,” one person said in an email to the committee.
They also referenced concerns about parking congestion, noise pollution and how increased traffic would impact the safety of elementary school kids in the area.
“The developer’s plan to rezone and redevelop the backside of Northgate is poorly conceived and poorly planned and will make our neighbourhood less liveable and less safe,” one email reads.
George Walichnowski is another resident who has concerns about what is being planned at Northgate Shopping Centre.
He said the main point he wants to bring up is there are two elementary schools in the area. He worries with more people living in the area, it could increase traffic and decrease safety.
“They don’t know what it’s like over there. There is no way to go down Cottingham with the school buses, and it’s 30 kilometres,” Walichnowski. “There’s just no way that it’s going to work. I know. I grew up there.”
He doesn’t think people will use the McPhillips Street entrance to enter the mall area and instead more traffic will back up on Cottingham.
He also thinks the proposed development is too large for the area.
“Seven storeys high? Come on. That’s crazy.”
He believes people would support a smaller development.
“A lot of people in the area could probably live with about half the size of that development because it’s just way too big for the plot of land…I think a smaller development could still fly there, but that’s just way too big.”
Andy Gwaltney, a director at LamarK World Corporation, one of the companies involved in the development, said those who are opposed to this project don’t want it to begin with.
“We’ve heard concerns the whole time from a handful of resident, most of them just don’t want development at all,” he said. “I think that through our process, we dealt with their concerns and achieved results for them.”
Gwaltney said a number of community consultations were held over the past few years to hear some of the problems people had with the project and changes were made based on their comments.
When asked about the traffic concerns that have been brought up, Gwaltney said the plan with the development is to help people drive less, as there will be amenities in the area that they can access.
“So all those people won’t actually need cars and they won’t create traffic. So, while of course, putting in more housing is going to create traffic of some sort, I don’t think it’s the magnitude that they believe it is.”
Gwaltney said while committee members have previously approved this development, there is always a concern during the appeal process that the decision could be reversed.
The appeal for the Northgate development will be heard on Wednesday, April 19, at the Appeal Committee meeting.
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