South St. Vital condo proposal concerns neighbours

Some residents of a quiet South St. Vital street say they fear more traffic and less privacy if a proposed condominium development goes up in their neighbourhood.

Residents puzzled to hear developer has already spent $500K to stabilize riverbank

Some residents of a quiet South St. Vital street say they fear more traffic and less privacy if a proposed condominium development goes up in their neighbourhood. 2:06

Some residents of a quiet South St. Vital street say they fear more traffic and less privacy if a proposed condominium development goes up in their neighbourhood.

Walter International wants to build condominium towers on Rivergate Drive, but people who live there say the buildings would not be a good fit.

"It's a beautiful little piece of Winnipeg that's unspoiled and hardly known," resident Dale Milne said of the neighbourhood.

On Monday, city councillors on the Riel Community Committee rejected Walter International's initial proposal to build two condo buildings that would be 10 and 15 storeys tall, respectively.

Instead, councillors approved a compromise: two condo buildings, with one being six storeys high and the other being eight storeys.

The developer's rezoning application is still subject to council approval, but Milne said he and other area residents are still concerned.

"What we've come to know and where we live is going to change dramatically," he said.

Milne said he and other neighbours who attended Monday's meeting had questions after the developer's consultant told the committee that his client had already spent $500,000 to stabilize the eroding riverbank nearby.

"I just can't understand why a developer would spend that kind of money on speculation when they didn't even have the zoning," said Milne.

But the consultant, John Wintrup, says the spending is a sign of his client's commitment to the property and to neighbours.

"You either spend money to protect your investment, which is the land, or you watch it erode away," Wintrup, a former senior city planner, told CBC News.

Wintrup said he respects the residents' concerns but added that multiple residents have indicated that they weren't really concerned about the condominiums.

"The residents, I know we'd still like to hear from them and dialogue with them," he said.

The development, should it go ahead, will include a park along the riverbank for everyone to enjoy, he added.

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