Press Release - Mayor Lawrence Morris - RM of East St. Paul
Posted: August 19, 2014
August 19, 2014
Press Release - Lawrence Morris, Mayor - Rural Municipality of East St. Paul
Response to article "Municipality appeals city's decision to block access to proposed Walmart site"
- Winnipeg Free Press, August 18, 2014 edition
With respect to the article "Municipality appeals city's decision to block access to proposed Walmart site", the following is a response to the statements that were reported in the article published on Monday.
The Council of the Rural Municipality has started the legal process to appeal the decision of the Council of the City of Winnipeg to close Raleigh Street and Gateway Road at the East St. Paul boundary to the Municipal Board as legislated under the Municipal Act. This was a last resort effort as East St. Paul had hoped to resolve the road closure decision prior to the resolution being presented to the Council of the City of Winnipeg for a decision. We had on numerous occasions requested meetings to discuss the municipality's plans but were not acknowledged by city staff. I, as well as our engineers, made a presentation to the East Kildonan-Transcona Community Committee, which is comprised of Councillors Steen, Wyatt and Browaty outlining our concerns and the effect that the road closure would have on our current residents. As I stated in yesterday's article, the appeal has nothing to do with the development on the corner of Lagimodiere and the Perimeter.
The Rural Municipality of East St. Paul Council nor any of its residents have asked to have a retail development built at the corner of Lagimodiere and the Perimeter. A developer has filed an application, as it is legally entitled to do so under the Planning Act, to develop the property. There is a legal process to follow and at this point is at the earliest stage of the process. At no time has anyone on the Council of East St. Paul or on the Board of the Red River Planning District approved the application. Should the application proceed, there would still be at least two more public hearings that would have to take place before a shovel could hit the ground. Part of the approval process is that the developer must prove to the municipality that they have proper and approved access to the property.
I agree with Councillor Browaty that the development of the site is inevitable and should be done only after proper transportation infrastructure is built. To build or provide proper transportation infrastructure is the responsibility of the developer, not the RM of East St. Paul or the City of Winnipeg. Closing of Raleigh Street and Gateway Road will not deter any developer from developing the property whether it be the application presently in process or a future application, but will put undue hardship on existing residents not only of East St. Paul but of Winnipeg.
The Council of East St. Paul is elected to provide for the safety of all their residents and in this case those on Glenway and Foxgrove to ensure that they have proper access to their roads and that emergency vehicles have the shortest possible route to access those residents should the need arise.