Manitoba·city hall roundup

Councillors reject land use plan for Parker neighbourhood

A trio of city councillors sent Parker lands owner Andrew Marquess back to the drawing board by rejecting land-use changes that would have paved the way for a development called Fulton Grove.

Plan to rezone land for Fulton Grove development fails at hearing ordered by a judge

Former Toronto chief planner (and mayoral candidate) Jennifer Keesmaat, with planner John Wintrup, presents on behalf of Andrew Marquess. (Bartley Kives/CBC)

A trio of city councillors sent Parker lands owner Andrew Marquess back to the drawing board by rejecting land-use changes that would have paved the way for a development called Fulton Grove.

Council's city centre community committee voted late Tuesday evening to reject a proposal to subdivide and rezone 47 acres of land at the northern edge of Fort Garry for the purposes of building thousands of new residential units.

In September, a provincial judge ordered up the public hearing after deciding the city has taken too long to approve Marquess's plans for the area.

Couns. John Orlikow (River Heights-Fort Garry), Cindy Gilroy (Daniel McIntyre) and Sherri Rollins (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry, attending her first council committee meeting) voted unanimously to reject the land-use changes.

City planners argued what Marquess was proposing was too dense for the triangle of land, which is wedged between the CNR Rivers main line and the next leg of the Southwest Transitway.

Planners also claimed a broader development plan proposed by Marquess was lacking in detail and rife with errors.

The development plan for Fulton Grove calls for towers of 6 to 8 storeys, closer to the Parker rapid-transit station and townhouses further west. (Gem Equities)

Marquess is engaged in legal action against Winnipeg's planning department for alleged abuse of power. In October, his lawyers named planning department director John Kiernan, chief planner Braden Smith, senior planner Michael Robinson and zoning and permits administrator Martin Grady in a statement of claim. 

Marquess was represented at the hearing by Jennifer Keesmaat, the former chief planner for the City of Toronto who finished second in the Ontario capital's 2018 mayoral race.

She argued the entire intent of the Fulton Grove development is to create enough density to take advantage of the transitway. City planners argued the CNR River line created a barrier between future housing units and commercial services located along Taylor Avenue, north of the rail line.

Coun. Schreyer skips first meeting of new term

Elmwood-East Kildonan Coun, Jason Schreyer, who came under fire during the last council term for missing meetings during the last council term, skipped his first committee meeting of the new term.

Schreyer did not attend Tuesday night's East Kildonan-Transcona community committee meeting, leaving colleagues Shawn Nason (Transcona) and Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) on their own.

Browaty said Schreyer did not inform the committee he would be absent prior to the meeting. City clerks received an email after 7 p.m., informing them Schreyer was sick, Browaty said.

In May, Mayor Brian Bowman and St. Vital Coun. Brian Mayes criticized Schreyer for skipping five straight meetings of the Winnipeg Food Council, a new committee the Elmwood councillor expressed enthusiasm about joining.