Residential development proposed for Winnipeg’s Polo Park rejected by EPC vote

A multi-million-dollar development proposed for the Polo Park has been rejected by members of the mayor’s executive policy committee.

Shindico Development and Cadillac Fairview, the owner of Polo Park Shopping Centre, want to team up to build a sprawling series of highrise and low-rise commercial and residential buildings near the mall.

But the plan needs council to approve amendments to the area’s bylaw and on Tuesday the mayor’s executive policy committee (EPC) voted 4-3 against the idea.

Under the bylaw, 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.”

The Winnipeg Airports Authority opposes the plan, arguing 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.

The proposed amendments will now go to a vote at council as a whole, but will be sent with a recommendation to reject from EPC.

Shindico’s lawyer Justin Zarnowski said the company remains confident.

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