WINNIPEG -- Residents in the River Heights neighbourhood have managed to hold off infill developers in their community for at least a little while longer, after winning an appeal to stop a controversial infill lot spilt.

The controversy revolves around a home at 143 Renfrew St. Kurtis Sawatzky, a property owner and local developer with Veritas Development Group, was looking to spilt the lot and build two single-family homes. In July the city’s board of adjustment approved the recommendation for the infill, much to the dismay of nearly 50 residents in the community who launched an appeal opposing the infill.

On Friday morning during the city’s appeal committee meeting, the group won their appeal.

Coun. Sherri Rollins, a member of the appeal committee, told CTV News Winnipeg two of the three councillors at the committee meeting voted for the appeal.

Rollins said around 40 residents came to the committee in opposition of the infill. In addition, the committee was given a stack of more than 20 letters from residents -- some hand written -- asking the committee to support the appeal. Rollins said River Heights and Fort Garry Coun. Jon Orlikow also wrote a letter in support of the appeal.

“Holy cow, there was a lot. There was a huge, huge package of appellants, a huge package of letters,” said Rollins. “A lot of the letters you will see reflect their design concerns, the height of the building, the trees, the water and waste concerns, and the look and feel of their community.” 

Rollins added only about two people came in support of the infill. She said while the developer did bring a very good plan forward, she felt their arguments fell short.

In an email, Ann Hodges, one of the residents in opposition of the infill sent congratulations to her fellow residents.

“So many thanks to everyone for your letters -- we had a huge pile to offer the councillors and they referenced them a number of times,” Hodges wrote. “Also so many thanks to everyone who was there in person -- that made a huge difference too.”