Meet & Chat this Friday at Cousins

Come to our fourth meet & chat this Friday, at Cousins Deli (55 Sherbrook St). 

Starting at 6 PM, we’ll be discussing the City of Winnipeg’s infill strategy, the upcoming spring or summer infill implementation consultations and ways to promote mixed-use density in Winnipeg. 

Why mixed-use density matters

Increasing density in mature neighbourhoods allows for more people to live near more shops, jobs and transit stops. This reduces the need for vehicle use and reduces carbon emissions. Up-zoning from single-family housing can also create more affordable housing options. Sadly, the Residential Infill Strategy the City of Winnipeg is developing appears to be going in the opposite direction to this on many fronts. 

Background on the Residential Infill Strategy

The City of Winnipeg is in the process of devising a Residential Infill Strategy. Engagement for the strategy was conducted last year and there is further engagement slated for spring or summer 2019. This Strategy would set out regulations for developing in mature communities.

Based on complaints at many of the sessions by those who oppose “long, tall and skinny” houses for aesthetic reasons, the City’s Infill Strategy is considering the following.

[*] Stricter rules for maximum lot coverage, which would calculate the maximum space a house and garage could cover on a lot. This is problematic because the City is planning to calculate this maximum *assuming the developer is going to build a garage*, regardless of whether or not they intend to build one. Home buyers won’t have the choice of buying a house that covers more of the lot in exchange for no garage under this scenario. Regulations that reinforce the presumption of car ownership are a bad way to go for Winnipeg.

[*] Design guildelines for what counts as “in character” infill. These could be restrictive and prevent higher density development in mature communities as “out of character”. If restrictive standards are put in place for infill, this will make it even more desirable to develop sprawling new subdivisions on the edge of the city. Given Winnipeg has been growing out for decades, this city needs a course correction to become fiscally and environmentally sustainable. Regulations that prevent high-density, mixed use infill are the wrong way to go.