April 1, 2019 4:48 pm

Motion for expert planning commission passes at property and development committee

Coun. Kevin Klein.

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A rookie city councillor says he wants to remove political considerations from Winnipeg’s planning and development decisions, by setting up a commission of industry experts and community stakeholders.

Coun. Kevin Klein (Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood) told 680 CJOB he doesn’t want something as vital to the city’s future as property development to be vulnerable to political interference.

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“If you look at some other major jurisdictions across Canada, they have planning commissions that are made up of experts in the field,” he said.

“Development and property development is probably one of the most important areas of our city … but it’s often contentious.

“I’m saying, ‘let’s change the way we do it today’ and hand this off to people that know how to make these decisions – people that are involved in the decisions.”

Klein, who is currently on the four-councillor committee that deals with planning issues – which passed his motion 3-1 on Monday – said the members of his proposed planning commission would have to be approved by council, and would base decisions on experience, facts and knowledge, rather than “emotion or political fear.”

“We’ve asked the public service to come back with their suggestions on how we could move forward and put the Winnipeg planning commission into place, and what that might look like. We don’t want to add another layer of red tape, for goodness’ sake.

“I think it’s best served under the watchful eye of industry professionals and community stakeholders rather than city councillors.”

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