Final vote on Polo Park development may be delayed after move from WAA
Supplied image of Shindico and Cadillac Fairview's plans. (Source: Cadillac Fairview)
WINNIPEG -- A final vote on the development plan for Polo Park may not proceed Wednesday at City Council because of an eleventh hour move by the Winnipeg Airports Authority.
In a letter to the city, the WAA said in the name of the Government of Canada, it objects to a plan that would allow housing be built at the old stadium site and at the mall.
The WAA took over operations of the airport from Transport Canada in 1997.
In the letter WAA President Barry Rempel said the city is required to refer the matter to the municipal board before making a decision.
“According to section 270 (1) of the City of Winnipeg Charter, 'the city must, before council gives second reading to the proposed by-law, refer the proposed by-law to The Municipal Board.' This action is consistent with airport objections in the name of the Government of Canada considered in other jurisdictions,” writes Rempel.
According to internal city emails, the city’s legal department wants to know if the authority’s claim is valid and is recommending Council adjourn the vote.
“What is unclear from the letter is whether the Government of Canada has given legal authority to the Winnipeg Airports Authority to make an objection to the proposed by-law under section 270(1),” writes Winnipeg’s Director of Legal Services Doug Brown. “Legal Services will undertake to contact the WAA, as well as conduct any legal review necessary, in order to determine whether the letter constitutes a valid exercise of authority on behalf of the Government of Canada.”
Brown advises the matter be delayed.
“It appears appropriate that Council adjourn the matter in order for this review to be completed.”
It’s unclear if the housing plan even has enough votes on Council to pass. The Mayor’s inner circle was split on the project, denying it in a 4-3 vote.
The WAA has raised concerns more housing in the area could jeopardize its 24-hour operations because of the potential for more noise complaints.