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Winnipeggers invited to provide feedback on draft lot-split guidelines: October 16, 2020

"We need this to combat climate change!" Is this justification for the proposed spread of automatic lot-splitting really the full story ?

A policy that encourages demolition of existing houses, to be replaced with two new houses, clearly does not meet current environmental targets. Demolition waste goes straight into the landfill, as there are no subsidies to renovate existing homes or recycle construction materials.

Secondly, the City has endorsed many other priorities in other wards, not only climate change initiatives.

1. In Armstrong’s Point, the City planning department endorsed a Heritage Conservation District (HCD). This literally celebrated the “spacious lawns” of the area, limiting redevelopment and not putting climate change first. I voted for this HCD which seems appropriate to me.

2. Similarly, City planners instituted an HCD for Crescentwood, the night before a scheduled demolition on Wellington Crescent. This also placed preservation before “climate change”. Again, I voted for this designation.

3. City planners propose to exempt streets that DO NOT have back lanes from any lot-splitting. Why ?

Adding front driveways would interrupt sidewalks and result in a loss of on street parking, and it just “doesn’t look attractive”.

By this definition, areas like the lovely Niakwa Park will remain untouched, despite their 60-foot lots, their many streets with no sidewalks and parking on one side of street only. The reasoning behind this, the area lacks back lanes and “it doesn’t look attractive”. These reasons seem to outweigh the importance of battling climate change in this instance. For the record, I would not favor lot-splitting in Niakwa Park.

In short, the argument that automatic lot-splitting needs to spread to more of St Vital, due to climate change, simply has not been applied in other parts of the city.

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