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Winnipeg city council will be asked to "indefinitely" lay over its vote on a hotly debated development proposal that would add homes closer to the airport than they’re currently permitted.
Council was expected to cast a final vote on the proposal around the Polo Park Mall and former Winnipeg football stadium earlier this month. Instead, that decision was postponed to today’s council meeting after the project’s key opponent asked the province to intervene.
The Winnipeg Airports Authority, which fears the mixed-use development’s multi-family buildings could trigger noise complaints that threaten the airport’s 24/7 operations, said it wants the Manitoba Municipal Board to hear the matter instead.
The WAA argued it was acting "in the name of the Government of Canada," which has the legal authority to demand that hearing.
On Thursday night, the city said Transport Canada has confirmed it delegated authority to the WAA to object to the proposed change.
"In light of this, the objection received by the city from the Winnipeg Airport(s) Authority on May 5, 2020 constitutes a valid objection. As such, (the related bylaw) is deemed to be referred to the Municipal Board… and legal services is recommending that these matters be laid over indefinitely," Felicia Wiltshire, the city’s communications director, wrote in an emailed statement.
In April, council’s executive policy committee voted 4-3 to reject the request to amend Winnipeg’s Airport Vicinity Protection Area plan to allow the development.
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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Updated on Friday, May 29, 2020 at 9:27 AM CDT: Adds byline