Developer claims city defying order on Parker lands
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.”