De­vel­oper claims city de­fy­ing or­der on Parker lands

Winnipeg Free Press - - NEWS / LAW & ORDER -

DE­VEL­OPER An­drew Mar­quess says he doesn’t be­lieve city hall is com­ply­ing with a judge’s or­der for next week’s pub­lic meet­ing on his con­tro­ver­sial Ful­ton Grove project on the Parker lands prop­erty.

At a news con­fer­ence Fri­day, Mar­quess and lawyer David Hill said the City of Win­nipeg ap­pears to be in con­tempt of Court of Queen’s Bench Jus­tice Can­dace Gram­mond’s Sept. 19 or­der on how to pro­ceed with next week’s hear­ing.

Gram­mond in­structed the city to hold a pub­lic hear­ing on the pro­posal for the res­i­den­tial project, and to con­sider a sec­ondary plan for the en­tire Parker lands prop­erty.

How­ever, Hill said an ad­min­is­tra­tive re­port to the Tues­day meet­ing rec­om­mends city coun­cil­lors not pro­ceed with the ap­pli­ca­tion un­til coun­cil has given a first read­ing of a by­law, which Hill said means coun­cil­lors would then be pre­vented from con­sid­er­ing the Ful­ton Grove ap­pli­ca­tion.

Mar­quess’s com­pany, Gem Equities, wants to build 1,900 res­i­den­tial units on the 47-acre tri­an­gle of land he owns in Fort Garry. It’s ad­ja­cent to the south­west rapid-tran­sit cor­ri­dor, which is un­der con­struc­tion. He went to court ear­lier this year to force city hall to con­sider a de­vel­op­ment plan for the en­tire Parker lands prop­erty and an­other specif­i­cally for Ful­ton Grove.

Hill said the court clearly said the city did not re­quire a by­law for the Parker lands sec­ondary plan, adding what the city is do­ing is a vi­o­la­tion of the court or­der.

“Ba­si­cally, if the (coun­cil­lors) were to go ahead on Tues­day in de­fi­ance of that court or­der, that’s a se­ri­ous mat­ter and one that is hard to un­der­stand,” he told re­porters.

The city plan­ning de­part­ment had said Mar­quess’s pro­posed sec­ondary plan is in­ad­e­quate and the Ful­ton Grove pro­posal didn’t com­ply with the city’s de­vel­op­ment guide­lines; Gram­mond in­structed city hall to hold a hear­ing Nov. 13 be­fore the city cen­tre com­mu­nity com­mit­tee.

Mar­quess is also su­ing sev­eral se­nior of­fi­cials in the plan­ning de­part­ment, ac­cus­ing them of abuse of power for de­lib­er­ately de­lay­ing his ap­pli­ca­tions for the projects.

Hill said a di­rec­tive Mar­quess re­cently got from the city, which lim­its his com­mu­ni­ca­tion to one se­nior of­fi­cial is, in ef­fect a “gag or­der.”

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