YIMBY Winnipeg’s key points in response to the draft Strategic Priorities Action Plan (SPAP):
- Transit-oriented infill projects and homes are vital to Winnipeg. They generate more tax revenue for the City’s overstretched public services without the cost of vastly expanding roads, pipes, and other infrastructure that servicing new greenfield sprawl requires. Denser development in built-up areas also results in fewer vehicle trips than the sprawl alternative, which means lower carbon emissions. Winnipeg needs to support, rather than clamp down, on infill homes. Some items in the Strategic Priorities Action Plan (SPAP), like #14, succeed at this.
- Item #14, allowing residential development on commercial sites by-right, is important. With Council’s Infill Strategy creating new barriers for infill in residential areas, like 30% lot coverage caps, 28-foot height restrictions, and greater setbacks, it’s crucial for Winnipeg to make infill easier somewhere. When drafting an actual bylaw amendment, it’s crucial Council gets the details right so that most feasible projects don’t get hung up through variances for other issues.
- Item #6 to develop a city-wide housing strategy is important and must be supported by Council.
- Item #12 to review the process for land development decisions is important. It is crucial that the City also add a climate and fiscal lens when comparing infill vs greenfield development proposals.
- Item #13 of hiring more development officers is critical. The City should specifically hire more development officers, planners, and enforcement officials specifically for infill along the lines of Edmonton’s infill planning team. City staff can be critical to triaging and diffusing tensions around infill projects.
- Item #28 of accelerating the Winnipeg Transit Master Plan is very important. High frequency transit corridors support infill projects, while widening and expanding suburban highways spurs car-oriented sprawl in Winnipeg and nearby exurbs. Winnipeg has done serious planning work on highway projects, it would be more beneficial for Council to prioritize serious operational planning work on the Transit Master Plan.
Tell your Councillor it’s important the SPAP supports infill homes.