It's a mountain of snow right now, but the City of Winnipeg is looking for ideas on how to develop the snow dump lot on Kenaston Boulevard.

The property, which the city currently uses to dump piles of snow, is in the middle of a popular retail shopping area.

On Tuesday, the city's property and development committee took a step toward declaring the Kenaston snow dump as surplus property and selling the land.

North Kildonan Coun. Jeff Browaty, who chairs the committee, says the city has no particular plans for the land, but he would like to see what ideas are out there.

"Let's keep it wide open, let's do the proper analysis, let's have, you know, have planners and people in the industry come forward with ideas and suggestions … to make sure that we don't [exacerbate] traffic situations that do exist on Kenaston," he said.

"Perhaps there is too much retail. You know, perhaps there are traffic issues with it. That will all come as part of a redevelopment planning process. This is, again, just the first step."

Officials with the public works department say there is plenty of capacity at the city's other snow dumps.

Moving too fast?

But Charleswood-Tuxedo Coun. Paula Havixbeck, whose ward includes the Kenaston snow dump, says she's worried the city is moving too quickly in putting the land on the market.

Havixbeck said it could result in more retail development in an area that she describes as already full of stores.

"It brings a lot of traffic when it does, so we're seeing some serious traffic issues now; some of those at the major corners were reported year after year by MPI and CAA," she said.

The land should be developed for residential or office space instead, Havixbeck said, adding that she's concerned the city is rushing the sale for a quick return.

"I want the best value for the city going forward. Not today, a couple million dollars, whatever we can get into a budget. That's not the way to do a budget," she said.

The property and development committee's recommendation to sell the Kenaston snow dump will next be reviewed by council's executive policy committee.