WINNIPEG - Sightlines for more housing and other development in the Polo Park area are more clear on the horizon after new reports suggest worries about noise had overshot.
A noise exposure forecast study a planning report commissioned by the provincial government found that noise levels from Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport don’t have as wide an effect as regulators had originally thought.
Municipal Relations Minister Derek Johnson says this shows how modern advances in aircraft, and acoustic treatment around the airport, have changed the way engine noise is traveling. ”Current land-use policies have not been updated in a quarter of a century and are based on outdated forecasts of aircraft noise,” Johnson says. “Up-to-date scientific data on noise in the vicinity of the airport is crucial to help guide decisions on the type and scale of development that can occur safely.”
The reports recommend changes to zoning plans that factor in the lower impact of noise from the airport, and forecast noise conditions until 2050. It found that quieter aircraft, along with building material innovation, can pave the way toward creating more housing on more than 4,000 acres that are currently restricted.
The Winnipeg Airports Authority says it’s OK with following the report and seeing changes to what construction is allowed in the area.
St. James City Councillor Scott Gillingham says he’ll bring the issue up with the city today, and call on municipal leaders to make the necessary changes in response to the reports. Developers are scheduled to discuss their next steps with the city in June.