What is the current status of the development?
The developer submitted applications for Parker Lands Secondary Plan (January 12th, 2018) and the DASZ / Plan of Subdivision and Rezoning (February 16th, 2018). A public meeting and public hearing were held November 13th, 2018.
Where are the Parker Lands located in Winnipeg?
The Parker Lands are within the larger Parker Neighbourhood (1.654) and are centrally located in Winnipeg south of Taylor Avenue and the CNR Rivers Subdivision (CN Main Line), west of Pembina Hwy/Jubilee Avenue at the end of Hurst Way, just east of the Winnipeg Humane Society with the southern boundary on Parker and Heatherdale Avenues. It is approximately 10 minutes by car or bus from Downtown and from the University of Manitoba.
The Parker Lands are approximately +/133 acres in a triangular shape (right angled) with the hypotenuse located immediately south of CNR Rivers (Main Line), west of Pembina of Hwy, east of Waverley and north of Beaumont Neighbourhood in the River Heights – Fort Garry Ward.
They fall within 800 metres of the proposed Parker Transit Station on the Southwest Bus Rapid-Transit Corridor (Stage 2) that is under construction through the southern half of the site.
What surrounds the Parker Lands in Winnipeg?
North: across CNR Rivers Subdivision, Grant Park Pavilions on Taylor Avenue and Manitoba Hydro’s former head office at 820 Taylor AVE with Hydro Sub-Station.
South: across MB Hydro Corridor, the Southwest Bus Rapid-Transit Corridor (Stage 2) and Parker/Heatherdale Avenues is the Beaumont Neighbourhood (1.602) which is identified as a ‘Mature Community’ in Complete Communities with a full range of municipal services.
East: across CNR Letellier Principal Branch Line, is Pembina Hwy/Jubilee Avenue junction.
West: adjacent to the site is the Winnipeg Humane Society and southwest of that is the City of Winnipeg’s waterworks W.D. Hurst Station and Ralph Cantafio Soccer complex.
What are the Parker Lands?
The Parker Lands represent a prominent brownfield, infill site in south central Winnipeg with redevelopment potential as identified in OurWinnipeg where it is cited as one of eleven (11) Major Redevelopments Sites (MRS), and included in the City’s supply/demand analysis to meet current growth projections to 2031.
The Parker Lands fall within 800 metres of the proposed Parker Transit Station on the Southwest Bus Rapid-Transit Corridor (Stage 2).
How big are the Parker Lands?
The whole of the Parker Lands (the ‘Plan Area’) is approximately 133 acres, with an average length of approximately one mile (east to west) and width of one-quarter mile (north to south).
Who owns the Parker Lands?
Lands within the Plan Area are owned by the City of Winnipeg, Manitoba Hydro and two private entities: the largest private land owner being 6165347 Manitoba Inc.
What is there now on the Parker Lands?
The privately owned and developable land within the Parker Lands is bounded to the south by a wide field occupied by Hydro Power Lines. A portion of this field is the site of the Brenda Leipsic Park which includes an off-leash dog area. This property is owned by Manitoba Hydro and the City of Winnipeg, and will also be the site of the proposed Southwest Bus Rapid-Transit Corridor (Stage 2).
The City plans a Stormwater Retention Basin (SRB) on the eastern half of the Plan Area, and the proposed Southwest Bus Rapid-Transit Corridor (Stage 2) including the Parker Station is under construction is on the south end of the Parker Lands.
What is the current Zoning of the Parker Lands?
Winnipeg’s Zoning By-law 200/2006 divides areas into zoning districts in order to separate residential, commercial and industrial land-uses; and to regulate specific land-uses and built forms. Zoning does not apply to either unimproved or improved Public Street Right-of-Ways (ROWs) or Public Lane ROWs. An unimproved ROW means no concrete, asphalt or gravel
has been laid down and the road bed remains in a natural state though legally open as a ROW.
The Parker Lands is currently zoned as the following:
- “A” Agricultural Districts;
- “R1” Residential Single-Family Districts;
- “M1” Manufacturing Light Districts; and
- “M2” Manufacturing General Districts.
M1 and M2 districts are intended to provide for light manufacturing, processing, service, storage, wholesale, and distribution operations, with some limited outside operations and storage.
The Parker Lands are also abutting or near the aforementioned zoning districts and:
- “C2” Commercial Community Districts;
- “C3” Commercial Corridor Districts;
- “PR1” Parks and Recreation 1 (Neighbourhood) Districts;
- “PR2” Parks and Recreation 2 (Community) Districts;
- “PR3” Parks and Recreation 3 (Regional) Districts;
- “M1” Manufacturing Light Districts; and
- “M2” Manufacturing General Districts.
The Taylor Lands to the north are zoned “C3” with a Planned Development Overlay 2 (“PDO- 2”) that is unique to the Taylor Lands MRS. The “PDO-2” allows multiple-family dwellings, wholesaling and warehousing as permitted uses, not-with-standing that they are not allowed in the “C3” District.
What is a Major Redevelopment Site?
The City of Winnipeg indicates in Our Winnipeg – Complete Communities that Major Redevelopment Sites hold enormous potential to support sustainable growth and development within the existing city, or in other words, infill development. The City cites that these lands are critical for Winnipeg to meet its growth projections and to maximize its existing development lands.
The City, through the OurWinnipeg process, indicates that these areas should be developed as mid/high density development for the following reasons:
- Location – often not impacting existing neighbourhoods – usually obsolete industrial areas.
- Proximity to Transit – often sites are near High Frequency Transit or Rapid Transit Corridors – called Transit Oriented Development.
- The City, because of the complexities to realize sustainable development on these sites, indicates that they will work with the developer to address infrastructure (transportation and other) improvements.
Why did the City designate the Parker Lands as a ‘Major
In 2008, Altus Group was retained by the City of Winnipeg to prepare a comprehensive Employment Lands Strategy. In their report it was found that the City had an employment land supply of some 1,210 acres that encompassed about 760 acres of vacant parcels and an additional estimated 450 acres of lands considered available for development with existing occupied, but underutilized lands. The report noted that the Parker Lands had some 96.8 net acres of vacant land. It was recommended by ALTUS that:
“the Parker Industrial Area be redesignated to a Neighbourhood Policy Area in view of unsuitability for development as employment lands” (pg.56).
The City of Winnipeg retained Altus’ recommendation, designating the Parker Lands as a Major Redevelopment Site (MRS) under the OurWinnipeg development plan, the current official plan guiding growth and change for the City of Winnipeg over the next 25-year period.
What is the Vision for the future of the Parker Lands?
The private lands of underutilized, vacant, brownfield site adjacent to an existing community will be transformed and repurposed through substantial private investment into a vibrant environmentally, socially and economically sustainable neighbourhood. There will be a wide range of housing choices with significant densities planned out in a well-designed urban form encouraging placemaking. There will also be robust multi-modal transportation connections that capitalize on existing & new major regional infrastructure public investments as envisioned by OurWinnipeg. A diversity of green and open spaces will be incorporated to provide park and public recreational areas.
What will the Parker Lands become?
The Parker Lands will become one of the first Transit-Oriented Developments (TODs) within Winnipeg in keeping with the guidelines and vision that have been produced by the City of Winnipeg through their policies and handbooks. The proposed Southwest Bus Rapid-Transit Corridor (Stage 2) will be fully integrated into the urban design of the planned neighbourhood allowing for easy transportation access, reduced reliance on vehicles and better management of transportation demand and parking requirements.
What will Development of the Parker Lands mean?
The Parker Lands redevelopment can be an opportunity to make an efficient use of municipal infrastructure. Concentrating densities on underutilized lands, and directing more residential users/rate payers towards major transportation projects (the Southwest Bus Rapid-Transit
Corridor (Stage 2), AT Paths, Waverley Underpass, and Pembina Hwy Underpass) that are receiving significant investments of public funds to expand capacity and improve transportation movements to the rest of Winnipeg.
The Plan Area is underperforming on the municipal tax rolls as a vacant brownfield site. A redevelopment into an energetic, dense, residential neighbourhood will optimize the parcel of lands for residential uses and significantly boost contributions to the municipal tax base.
This location provides a real opportunity to direct residential growth towards existing communities and existing infrastructure & municipal services in a compact pattern to minimize the need for developments on the fringes of the city.
What is the TOD / Transit-Oriented Development Handbook?
The City of Winnipeg developed the Winnipeg Transit-Oriented Development Handbook with policy and guidelines in 2010. The TOD Handbook is used to guide site planning and development for areas in 400 meters to 800 meters of a transit station along a High Frequency Route or Rapid Transit Corridor such as the Parker Lands.
The Winnipeg Transit-Oriented Development Handbook is used to guide the future residential developments of the Parker Lands.
What is TOD / Transit-Oriented Development?
Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) aims to leverage strategic improvements to transit networks to not just create a more reliable, competitive and convenient alternative to driving, but to catalyze urban transformation and intensification along major transit corridors and promote transit supportive development throughout Winnipeg.
TOD is a concept designed to maximize access to public transport, and typically involves mixeduse, higher density pedestrian-oriented infill development within a five to ten minute (400m – 800m) walk of a transit station.
TOD relies on development near rapid transit stations, allowing for higher than normal densities and reduced parking.
Proximity to transit stations suggests that residents and visitors will choose transit as their preferred choice of travel, enabling dense development, compact form without surface parking (which takes up significant land).
What are the benefits of Transit-Orientated Developments?
There are substantive benefits associated with transit-orientated development:
- Those living closer to a transit station drive less as their needs can be fulfilled without driving, thereby creating fewer negative impacts from their driving (pollution, noise, congestion).
- This increased use of public transit generates increased revenues for transit agencies.
- Those living near transit stations tend to be more frequent walkers, which has health benefits.
The reduction of driving by those living close to transit stations would generate savings in vehicle operating and ownership costs. According to a 2013 study by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), the costs of operating a vehicle (including fuel, maintenance, and tires) is roughly $0.15 per kilometer driven. The fixed costs of care ownership amounts to $6,500 per year.
Why develop Parker Lands?
A series of policy decisions were approved by Council subsequent to the adoption of OurWinnipeg that further reinforce the City’s expectation that the Parker Lands should be redeveloped to support significant levels of mixed use, high density development. Perhaps the most significant decision was the realignment of the Southwest Rapid Transit Corridor Stage 2 through the Parker Lands:
Southwest Rapid Transit Corridor Stage 2 – Alignment Study – January 2013
The City of Winnipeg commissioned an alignment study to review the Southwest Rapid Transit Corridor Alignment as described in OurWinnipeg. It looked at a series of alignment options and concluded that the OurWinnipeg alignment be rerouted through the Parker Lands to maximize growth and densification opportunity.
The study focused largely on OurWinnipeg – Complete Communities directive and the Transit Oriented Development Handbook to use rapid transit to maximize development potential of Major Redevelopment Sites:
“In order to maximize the development potential of both the Major Redevelopment Sites and the viability of the transit system, these lands should be developed in accordance with the principles of Transit Oriented Development.” (Complete Communities, p.66) Redevelopment Sites feature
Neighbourhood Centres, including Parks, Places, and Open Spaces, that are the nodes with which to integrate public transit stations. The City’s policy is to help reduce Major Redevelopment Site barriers related to the complexity of location, infrastructure, land assembly, and potential contamination.”
The study went on to build the case that development of Major Redevelopment Sites along the corridor, including the Parker Lands MRS should be maximized to finance the rapid transit system:
“The potential for new development adjacent to the transit corridor creates a possible option to finance the transit project through a tax increment financing model. Both the current tax base for those areas with potential for TOD, and the future potential tax base resulting from projected TOD have been quantified. The differential represents the potential incremental tax revenues that could be utilized for project financing.” (Southwest Rapid Transit Stage 2 Alignment Study – Final Report, Page 34).
What are some of the other benefits for developing the Parker Lands?
The creation of new residential units will help the City manage its anticipated population growth. The development represents a significant infusion of new population into the River-Heights Fort-Garry Ward, which has not seen significant population growth in many years The development will help support the development goals set out in the City of Winnipeg’s
OurWinnipeg development plan.
The development will provide school age children to the surrounding schools operating currently at below capacity.
What are the economic benefits from the Development of Parker?
- $1.3 Billion in economic activity – $674 millions of which is direct economic activity.
- $650 million in net contribution to GDP.
- 7,435 person years of employment.
- $414 million in income for households.
- $270 million in operating business earnings.
- $178 million in tax revenues.
- $156.3 million in Personal & Business Income Taxes.
- $2.3 million in Municipal Taxes, Charges & Fees.
- $19.5 million in Other Federal, Provincial Gov’t revenues.
What will be the on-going economic benefits generated by this Development for a single year?
- $11 Million in economic activity.
- $6.6 million in net contributions to GDP.
- 75 person-years of employment.
- $4 million in income by households.
- $2.5 million in operating business earnings.
- $14 million in tax revenues generated across all levels of government.
- $12.3 million in annual municipal taxes, charges and fees.
What is the Green House Gas impact of a higher density residential development compared to lower density suburban approach to same area?
The GHG per household from the proposed development is 3.39 tonnes of GHG/year as compared to a low density suburban model with 4.83 tonnes of GHG/year. This reduction of roughly 1.5 tonnes of GHG/household is an important impact to the community’s GHG emissions. Considering that buildings and residential vehicles make-up approximately 65% of the City’s community emission inventory, this higher density approach to GHG management is impactful.
What can Winnipeg do about GHGs and how can Parker development help?
Land-use policies that encourage development of integrated energy community solutions are some of the most effective policies to play a key role in achieving Canada’s emissions goals. The proposed development is one important aspect of the Integrated Community Solutions concept by using a higher density residential approach: multiple-family buildings tend to consume less energy / unit floor area, and high density developments reduce the number of parking spots per household. The IBI Group found that the variable with the strongest influence on vehicle kilometers travelled (and therefore GHG emissions) was the number of vehicles per household.
An increase residential density creates a more concentrated pool of potential transit users.
What will be the impacts on Traffic?
There will be significant reduction of short-cutting traffic through the Beaumont neighbourhood after the implementation of the Waverley Underpass project and ancillary improvements. Traffic shortcutting through Beaumont neighbourhood between Waverley St and Pembina Hwy is a well-known issue. The root cause is generally attributed to overcapacity conditions at the intersection of Waverley St and Taylor Ave, as well as traffic disruptions and long queues at the existing at-grade CNR rail crossing on Waverley ST caused by frequent trains. After the Waverley Underpass improvements are completed, it is anticipated that current short-cutting
traffic will stay on main arterial roads (Waverley and Pembina).
There will be anticipated growth of transit ridership in the area after the second phase of the Southwest Bus Rapid Transit begins operations. A 25% automobile trip reduction for residents within the immediate (400m) of the proposed Parker Station is anticiapted. Bus routes will use Beaumont St, Windermere Ave, and Hurst Way to feed the Parker Station.
What are the traffic engineer’s findings & recommendations?
At full build-out of the proposed development, the new Hurst Way as a 2-lane Rural Cross Section will likely be sufficient.
All intersections in the surrounding road network, subject to signal timing optimizations, will be operating with acceptable delay based Level-of-Service (D or better) and max volume/capacity ratio (0.90 or lower) under both 2020 and 2024 horizon years.
The intersection of Pembina Highway and McGillivray Blvd is expected to continue enduring capacity issues unrelated to this development. Its recommended the City continue monitoring this and other locations on Pembina Hwy corridor as part of a future access management evaluation of the entire corridor.
Regarding the short-cutting issue and its potential elimination, the City should conduct a plate survey after the year 2020 once all major regional improvements are in place, in order to assess post-2020 shortcutting volumes.
Does this development negatively impact traffic on surrounding area?
The proposed development does not place a significant burden on existing and planned transportation networks in the study area. Provided implementation of identified regional network improvements and development mitigation measures, the forecasted traffic loads are
expected to operate acceptably on existing and planned transportation network as per City of Winnipeg Standards.
Why has the woodlot been replaced by other green spaces options?
This change has brought the Fulton Grove site more in line with other successful urban developments. Balance is needed for “play” space and safety issues such as open sight lines. The previous allowance for all of the green space to be a woodlot divided the site in two, rather than creating one overall community that is linked together with the revised linear series of green spaces.
Additionally, further ecological review of the site identified that the human intervention and use of the current aspen woodlot attract invasive species that will damage other natural vegetation.