CALL FOR FEEDBACK: Property owners & residents west of Polo Park

YIMBY Winnipeg is calling for feedback. We want to hear what property owners and residents in the area between Polo Park and the Airport think of a review of the Airport Area plan.

The nearly quarter century old Airport Vicinity Protection Area Secondary Plan (AVPA) prevents new multifamily developments in a large area from Polo Park Mall to the airport. This freezes development in a pattern of lower density mall sprawl, with many surface parking lots, single family houses and some multi-family housing grandfathered in.

This issue came to head when owners of Polo Park mall requested a spot amendment to build multi-family around the shopping centre. Urban malls, facing fierce competition from new outer suburban malls and power centres, have shifted to mixed uses, with residential development, as a survival strategy. There are higher than average vacancies in the region that includes Polo Park mall and, if this trend continues, the City could have less tax generating property next to sizeable infrastructure. The owners are particularly interested in the option of housing for seniors in the area who want to downsize and age in place.

YIMBY Winnipeg agrees that the City needs to seriously consider housing needs, including multi-family, when planning for the vicinity from Polo Park mall to the airport. Our city services are already feeling the crunch from decades of sprawl. For a fiscally and environmentally sustainable future we need more infill housing.

Trying to paper over the barriers in the plan through a spot rezoning, as requested by the owners, is not the best approach, however. We believe a comprehensive but timebound review of the AVPA needs to take place. The City needs outside technical experts to evaluate noise abatement options and consider the transformation in aircraft technology over the last quarter century. We also need to review our housing needs and consider the fiscal and social costs the risk of rising vacancies at Polo Park pose. The 11th hour request from the Airport to have the Manitoba Municipal Board involved adds another layer to all this.

With this in mind, YIMBY Winnipeg is reaching out to our supporters for help with feedback. If you know someone who is a property owner or resident in Area I, we would very much like to hear from them.
We are particularly interested in

  • Overall thoughts on what a review of the AVPA should consider.
  • Opinions on how this process has played out thus far.
  • Any interest in improving property or building multi-family.
  • Thoughts of residents who wish to age in place