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Developer moving forward with plans for controversial Lemay Forest land


A developer is moving ahead with plans to turn a forest in St. Norbert property into an assisted living facility and parking lot.

Area residents and city councillors are trying to stop the development of the 22-acre Lemay Forest by convincing the owner to sell the controversial property.

"We submitted our development application today," said John Wintrup, with John Scott Wintrup Planning & Development.

The application, submitted by Wintrup on behalf of Tochal Developments, shows a four storey assisted living facility with 2,500 units and 5,000 beds along with 5,000 parking spaces. If approved, the development would see 5,700 vehicles passing through the area daily.

"We're preparing now to go to a public hearing, we have a team of engineers who have completed documentation," Wintrup told CTV News.

This comes on the same day the city's property committee debated a motion to negotiate a purchase of the forest, and thousands signed a petition to keep it as is.

"It's really important to save, it's just one of the things that makes Winnipeg great," said Stacy Gosman, a St. Norbert resident.

But the committee shelved the purchase plan put forward by area councillor Markus Chambers.

"Well, I'm disappointed by the outcome of the vote of the motion," Chambers said.

Instead, the committee took another direction that could see the Lemay Forest end up in city hands through a third party.

It passed a motion that would give the city's CAO authority to accept private green space bought by the Manitoba Habitat Conservancy. The charitable group has $1.6 million of federal funds to spend on urban green space. While Lemay Forest is not specifically mentioned, the organization said it is of interest.

"It would be the type of project that we would be looking to try and protect," said Stephen Carlyle with the conservancy.

It is welcome news for Coun. Sherri Rollins, the chair of the city's property committee.

"I expect some good news here in under 180 days," she said.

There is a catch. The plan to give the CAO authority to accept a land donation may take up to six months, but the Manitoba Habitat Conservancy money has a deadline to use the funds by the end of March.

Wintrup said the developer is open to a sale or land swap but so far, no serious offer has been made.

"Nobody has approached us about negotiating a price," Wintrup said. Top Stories

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