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Planning, Property & Development

Residential Infill Strategy

UPDATE:
Thank you to everyone who participated in our online survey this fall. Over 130 people completed the survey, and we are now analyzing the feedback, which will be presented in the new year. Please to receive notification of upcoming engagement opportunities for this project, and see our 'Engage' tab for further details.

Residential infill is new housing in established neighbourhoods. New housing can be single-family, two-family, townhouse, or multi-family. The goal for this project is to advance a shared vision for residential infill that helps address demand for new housing while preserving neighbourhood quality, character, and liveability. The Residential Infill Strategy (the Strategy) will address, at a minimum, built form, design features, lot width and size, yards, landscape standards, density, and zoning.

Engage

We want to hear from you!

The Residential Infill Strategy will be created through a public engagement program that will reach out to neighbourhood residents, builders, homebuyers, and the public.

To begin the process, stakeholders were invited to five focus group meetings between June 14 and June 22. A stakeholder workshop was held on June 29 to determine key issues to focus on in residential infill strategy development. To find out more about the engagement planning process, access the meeting notes from the focus groups and workshop.

We are currently analyzing the feedback from our online survey, which was posted online from October 3 to December 1, 2017. We will be presenting this and other information at a public workshop in early 2018 for further feedback. Please to receive notification of upcoming engagement opportunities for this project.

If you have any comments or would like to get in touch with the Residential Infill project team, email us at .

To stay up to date on this project, please for email project updates.
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Project Timeline

Timeline

Timeline

Background

On December 5, 2016, City Council directed the Public Service to prepare a residential infill strategy to include:

  1. A policy framework to encourage residential infill development;
  2. Planning and design guidelines for residential infill; and,
  3. A residential infill communications strategy to share information clearly and widely with builders and residents.

Based on the latest population forecasts prepared by the Conference Board of Canada, the City of Winnipeg is expected to grow by more than 200,000 people by 2040. While the greatest percentage of residential growth continues to occur in emerging neighbourhoods at the edge of the city, many new residential units built over the last five years have been located within established neighbourhoods. Market demand for new units in many existing neighbourhoods continues to remain high for the foreseeable future.

Infill housing is desirable because it makes efficient use of existing services. Established neighbourhoods already have infrastructure in place, are typically well-served by transit, and are conducive to cycling and walking, meaning less congestion and less wear and tear on our arterial roadways. This is why infill is an important tool in addressing our infrastructure deficit.

Despite its benefits, infill development can sometimes be a source of tension and conflict. A number of recent infill proposals in Winnipeg have demonstrated a lack of consensus on how and where different forms of infill should occur. Many cities have guidelines or policies around infill housing. Winnipeg currently does not have a comprehensive city-wide infill strategy to serve as a blueprint for development.  

Documents

Document Name Date Type
Residential Infill Strategy Committee Approved Workplan April 2017 Report
Meeting Notes from engagement planning: September 2017 Notes

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is residential infill?

Residential Infill refers to new housing in established neighbourhoods. New infill housing can include single-family houses, duplexes, triplexes, or multi-family dwellings (e.g. - condo or rental apartment buildings).

Date added: August 2017

What is an established neighbourhood?

An established neighbourhood is one that is substantially built out and occupied. In contrast, emerging neighbourhoods are new areas where there continues to be construction of new homes on vacant lands.

Date added: August 2017

How long is the development of the Strategy expected to take?

Approximately ten months. Initial data collection and engagement planning began in May, 2017. Comprehensive community outreach will be undertaken in September, 2017, and it is expected that final recommendations will be made to Council in spring of 2018.

Date added: August 2017

What are the goals of the Strategy?

The goal for this project is to advance a shared vision for residential infill that helps address demand for new housing while preserving neighbourhood quality, character, and liveability. This project will achieve this goal by meeting the following objectives:

  • Ensure Winnipeg accommodates a wide variety of housing options to meet all needs;
  • Encourage economically sustainable development that draws value from existing infrastructure and enhancements such as rapid transit and active transportation;
  • Clarify and build on concepts such as ‘context-sensitive development’;
  • Understand and mitigate the concerns most commonly associated with residential infill; and
  • Provide greater clarity, consistency and predictability in the development application process.

Date added: August 2017

Is this a new strategy – or an update to an existing strategy?

This is an entirely new strategy for Winnipeg that will build on the infill policies in OurWinnipeg and the Complete Communities Direction Strategy.

Date added: August 2017

Is this part of the upcoming review of OurWinnipeg?

This strategy is separate from the review of OurWinnipeg and the Complete Communities Direction Strategy. However, the final infill strategy may recommend policy directions for the Complete Communities Direction Strategy.

Date added: August 2017

Is this project about downtown housing and transit-oriented development?

No, higher density areas like downtown and transit station areas are not part of this project. Nor are mixed use corridors such as Pembina Highway or Academy Road. The Strategy will focus on the integration of new housing within established residential neighbourhoods.

Date added: August 2017

Will the residential infill strategy focus on certain areas of the city?

The strategy will focus on established residential neighbourhoods across the entire city (Areas of Stability under the Complete Communities Direction Strategy).

Date added: August 2017

What are Areas of Stability?

Areas of Stability are established neighbourhoods in Winnipeg that can be grouped into two categories: Mature Communities, which are neighbourhoods established before the 1950s; and Recent Communities, which are neighbourhoods that have been established since the 1950s. Areas of Stability are areas where current policy supports low to moderate change through development that is complementary with the existing scale, character and built form.

Go to the Maps tab to view a map of Areas of Stability.

Date added: August 2017

What neighbourhoods will be consulted via the planned infill public engagement activities?

The public engagement will endeavour to reach out broadly to all areas of the city through both online and in-person engagement opportunities.

Date added: August 2017

What are some of the benefits of infill?

Residential infill is desirable for a number of reasons:

  • it makes use of existing city services and infrastructure;
  • it provides for diverse housing options and more complete communities;
  • it is a source of neighbourhood reinvestment; and
  • it can improve the viability of neighbourhood services, such as libraries, schools, and local businesses.

Date added: August 2017

What are some of the challenges of infill?

For existing neighbourhood residents, infill poses challenges in trying to integrate new buildings into the neighbourhood’s established character. For builders, there is greater risk involved in infill development than building in new neighbourhoods. Site acquisition and site constraints can also make infill costlier than a comparable project in new neighbourhoods on the edge of the city.

Date added: August 2017

Where is residential infill currently happening in Winnipeg?

Mapping building permit data from 2012 to 2016 show that residential infill development is occurring throughout neighbourhoods in the Areas of Stability.

Go to the Maps tab to view a Map of recent infill within the Areas of Stability.

Date added: August 2017

Winnipeg has a low-cost housing market compared to cities like Vancouver or Toronto. Do we need to be concerned about residential infill in existing neighbourhoods?

While Winnipeg remains affordable relative to other large Canadian cities, the rising cost of urban land has made a single detached house with lot space on all four sides increasingly out of reach for many Winnipeg homebuyers.  

Additionally, households are changing. According to the 2011 census, only 26% of households in Canada represent the traditional ‘nuclear family’ of two parents with children. Empty-nest baby-boomers, singles and childless couples comprise the majority of household types. Demographers expect this shift to continue into the next decade.  As our population ages, housing needs change.

The option to age in place requires alternate housing formats that allow individuals to remain independent and stay in their community regardless of age, income, or ability level.

These housing types are intended to fit within the scale of lower density housing while offering more choice and price ranges to meet the growing demand for new housing in mature neighbourhoods.

Date added: August 2017

Maps

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Map

 

Map

Map

 

Last update: December 5, 2017