Norwood Flats residents fight to save Spanish-style home

Residents are speaking out at City Hall Monday evening about a proposal to rezone a home at 96 St. Mary's Road.

Denise Bendor-Samuel calls the house built in 1927 a landmark in the area

An investment firm is hoping to develop this property at 96 St. Mary's Road and turn it into a single-storey office with six parking stalls. (Change.org)

Residents are speaking out at City Hall Monday evening about a proposal to rezone a home at 96 St. Mary's Road.

The home was built in 1927 and is an example of the Spanish colonial revival style. An investment firm Rajotte Capital Group is looking to redevelop the site into a 3,100 square foot, one-story office building with six parking stalls.

Denise Bendor-Samuel said if the firm's plans go through, it will destroy a "landmark" in the Norwood Flats neighbourhood.

"The architecture is stunning," she said.

Bendor-Samuel has lived in Norwood Flats for 17 years and said the quiet, pedestrian-friendly streets first attracted her to the area.

She said she worries if the property on St. Mary's Road is rezoned as commercial it will set a tone for the area that's not in keeping with the "homey" feel of the area.

"Having a business in there will completely change the feel of the neighbourhood, with its beautiful hidden gems," she said.

Bendor-Samuel said she counted 14 vacant commercial locations in the area including some on St. Mary's Road that would be, in her view, better suited for the investment company.

As of Monday, 539 people have signed a petition against the rezoning application on Change.org.

City of Winnipeg planning department recommended the Riel Community Committee approve the rezoning application because it is located along a regional mixed use corridor "where small scale commercial developments are encouraged" and it is consistent with the city's Complete Communities Direction Strategy.

If the property is developed Bendor-Samuel worries nearby homes will follow suit.

"If this house goes there's precedent set for all the other houses on the block," she said.