Winnipeg condo developer overturns rejections with successful lobbying

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Rendering of the condo project that succeeded at Winnipeg City Council

A Winnipeg developer has won a battle to build an infill condo project in Crescentwood after city council overturned a trio of decisions made by council subcommittees, CBC Winnipeg reports.

Council voted 11-5 in mid-December to approve a land-use change that will allow Ventura Developments to build a four-storey, 12-unit condo project to rise on vacant land at McMillan Ave. and Harrow St..

The council’s city centre community committee turned down the project on Nov. 8. CBC reports that the municipal planning, property and development committee and executive policy committee followed suit in recent weeks.

However, In the end, only area councillor John Orlikow (River Heights-Fort Garry) and Couns. Jenny Gerbasi (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry), Cindy Gilroy (Daniel McIntyre), Brian Mayes (St. Vital) and Mike Pagtakhan (Point Douglas) opposed to the project.

“I have to say 11 councillors can be referred to as heroes of infill and the city’s now moving in an upward direction and a good precedent has now been set,” CBC quoted Ventura vice-president Tim Comack as saying.

Before  the council vote, both Orlikow and Mayor Brian Bowman rapped Comack for what they described as inappropriate lobbying outside the public-hearing process.

Comack said he has “tremendous respect” for Orlikow and said he didn’t intend to offend anyone.

Orlikow said while he was disappointed with the vote, he respects the will of council.

He also said council ought to make its rules governing lobbying from developers more consistent.

That would involve either allowing unfettered lobbying or coming up with tighter rules, he said, according to the CBC report.

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