Corydon Osborne area plan

Plan aims to densify neighbourhood, improve streetscapes and ease parking

On Wed. March 9, the City of Winnipeg hosted an open house to discuss the logistics of the Corydon-Osborne Area Plan, officially adopted by city council in December 2014.

The planning guide was developed between 2011-2014 through consultation with area residents, business owners, community stakeholders and members of the public. The plan intends to guide future growth and change in the Corydon-Osborne area with transit developments supplementing the Osborne Station, improvements to streetscapes and better connections to the downtown. 

The plan also aims to preserve and maintain the character of the community while adhering to protocol laid out in Our Winnipeg, the city’s 25-year planning guideline. 

According to Michael Robinson, a city planner with the City of Winnipeg, the plan aims to increase density in the area, specifically around Osborne Station, while making the neighbourhood more diverse and vibrant. 

However, the plan has been met with opposition from some residents.

Shirley Forsyth, an executive member of the Corydon Village Residents Association, feels the association was left out of the planning process.

“We didn’t have any input into which (consultant) they hired, or a term of reference of what they were going to do.”

In a letter to Mayor Brian Bowman, Forsyth states she is opposed to the rezoning of homes from single-family to two-family homes. She states that the Corydon-Osborne area does not need to be densified and the rezoning of 950 properties will reduce green space she feels is already limited in the area. 

“We have very little green space in this area except the small yards, by expanding the houses and taking up the yard we will have even less.”

The city claims that the rezoning of the area will benefit residents as laws will be adjusted to build secondary suites in basements and second storeys on existing homes more easily.

For residents who fear this new zoning target will decrease the value of their properties, the city’s taxation division believes there will be little to no change in property value in the area based solely on the change to two-family zoning

Forsyth is nevertheless concerned that her neighborhood will become less accessible for families. 

“There will be no children. The area won’t be a family neighborhood anymore.”

The Corydon-Osborne Plan also aims to encourage more street activity by allowing businesses to build outdoor patios more easily by loosening regulations in the current planned development overlay, a zoning tool that modifies land uses and development standards in an area.

The plan also encourages shared parking that will provide restaurants and businesses along Corydon more access to rentable parking, in an effort to curb reliance on residential street parking.

A public survey on the Corydon-Osborne Area Plan Implementation is available at www.surveymonkey.com/r/CH3DW58.

Published in Volume 70, Number 23 of The Uniter (March 10, 2016)

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