Building in Established Single-Family Neighbourhoods – Urban Infill Projects

Building in Established Single-Family Neighbourhoods – Urban Infill Projects

How is development in mature neighbourhoods possible today? The city, via zoning by-laws, dictates the type of structures that are allowed on every piece of land in Winnipeg. If a developer were to say, want to build a multi-family structure in an area zoned single-family, they would have to approach the city to either amend the zoning by-law or change it outright. Other things would also have to be considered like if the local water and sewer system can handle the population that the development would bring, but the city would include that in their rezoning consideration.

Are new developments in established or mature neighbourhoods a good idea? Well it depends on the neighbourhood. You wouldn’t want to see a 15-storey tower amidst single-family houses but a 5- or 6-storey building should be acceptable. This is what is happening in South St. Vital on Rivergate Drive as per: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/south-st-vital-condo-proposal-concerns-neighbours-1.2498340?cmp=rss

The developer presented a proposal to the Riel Community Committee to build 2 condo towers, 10- and 15-stories, in a little cul-de-sac off of St. Mary’s Road and backing onto the Red River. The city councilors rejected this idea but approved 6- and 8-storey towers. Some residents are concerned of the impact that this will have on their neighbourhood but the funny thing is that there are less than a dozen homes there. Looking at the area, it is a great place to establish a modern condominium community and the developer seems committed – having already invested $500,000 to stabilize the riverbank. In the proposal, the developer is also including a public park along the riverbank for everyone to enjoy. To summarize, there is no reason why the developer’s rezoning application shouldn’t be approved.

The only thing to note is that the buildings to be constructed should be modern in design. They should be award-winning structures providing excellent curb appeal while remaining affordable. Urban infill projects are important because they increase land-use and density. They must be practical and fit with their surrounding area but should be considered an integral part of the city’s growth.

In a similar note, Winnipeg has too many old homes that have not been maintained and updated over the years, which need to be torn down and redeveloped with modern technology and techniques. The only way to do this and have it make financial sense is by increasing density. A single-family home can become a multi-family community. That is the direction that the city should be moving.