Letter from WAA may scuttle Winnipeg council vote on Polo Park development

A vote Wednesday at Winnipeg City Hall on whether to allow hundreds of millions of dollars of residential development near Polo Park may be set aside.

Mall owners Cadillac Fairview and developer Shindico want to build nearly a dozen low and medium-rise buildings on Polo Park’s property.

The mixed-use project would take up about a third of the mall’s current parking lot.

The Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA) says a mixed-use build that close to their property could lead to noise complaints, and threaten its 24/7 operation, having a big effect on the booming cargo business.

The WAA intends to add a third runway in the future — plans for that would see planes fly just 300 metres above the property, some of them at night.

City council was to vote on the project Wednesday and the vote was expected to be close.

However, Tuesday night, the WAA sent a letter to Coun. Janice Lukes, who is a proponent of the development, and copied all councillors and the mayor.

“Unfortunately, we have come to the conclusion that the current city process has not and will not allow for a proper, reasoned discussion on this critical issue,” wrote WAA CEO Barry Rempel in the letter.

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