Polo Park development vote ends in stalemate at Winnipeg property and development committee

A multi-million dollar development proposed for the Polo Park area got a mixed review from city councillors as the plan continued its move through Winnipeg City Hall Monday.

A vote on allowing the proposal, which would see mixed residential development built near the mall, ended in a 2-2 tie at Monday’s property and development committee meeting.

That means the idea now moves onto executive policy committee without a recommendation.

Shindico Development and Cadillac Fairview, the owner of Polo Park Shopping Centre, want to build a sprawling series of highrise and low-rise buildings near the mall and at the former stadium site.

But the Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA) argues allowing more residential construction in the area would impact its ability to do business and increase potential noise complaints if it expands.

WAA CEO Barry Rempel has said he worries the development could put an end to the 24-hour operations of Richardson International Airport if improperly planned.

The WAA wants to add a third runway to expand the lucrative freight sector sometime in the future, and Rempel said the proposed development would see planes fly 300 metres above new residents’ heads.

Currently, residential construction is prohibited around the Polo Park mall site by a set of rules under the Airport Vicinity Protection Area Secondary Plan (AVPA). The purpose of the AVPA is to “protect the 24-hour air operations of the airport by limiting residential noise complaints.”

Earlier this year, councillors on the Assiniboia Community Committee passed a motion for proposed amendments to the area’s bylaw that would allow the build.

The amendment now goes to the city’s executive policy committee and would still need the approval of council as a whole.

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