Get used to disappointment
Even David Witty, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, has dropped toeing the line for the U of M's real estate interests (and selling out his discipline), and now expresses disappointment in what Waverley West is becoming.
"The feeder main to carry water in will cost $11 million. The main sewer pipe will cost $4.6 million. The tab for community centres, policing and fire protection is $39 million. And along with the $60-million Kenaston extension, there are plans to widen Waverley Street, extend Bison Drive and improve other components of southwest Winnipeg's transportation network at a cost of more than $300 million, not including the $327 million southwest bus corridor former mayor Murray hoped would service the new suburb.
The capital costs of the suburb are undeniably higher than the $119 million projected in 2004, when the city and province conducted a pair of cost-benefit analyses that came up with widely different earning projections: the city predicted $74 million over 60 years, while the province envisioned $228 million over 23 years. [*]"(You mean, it's not going to magically appear for free? Why would the developers of Waverley West lie to the City via some cooked-up ND Lea study? I thought they were simply pushing the City to ammend Plan Winnipeg and allow Waverley West to be nice. What happened?)
"We look to government to be innovative at times." said St. Norbert Councillor Justin Swandel.
Get used to disappointment indeed.
The failure of Waverley West is not that it will (well, duh...) not end up being a cutting edge model of new urbanism, but that it will not slow residential development outside City limits. People that wish to live outside City boundaries will continue to do so. It was not that a "tight" market pushed them out of the city in recent years, it was that a healthy seller's market offered much to choose from. Waverley West will not eliminate City property taxes, lower crime rates, or make lot sizes bigger--the primary reasons why people who choose to move out to the bedroom communities of surrounding R.M.s do so.
What Waverley West will do, however, is bring commercial amenities (such as its pathetically-dubbed "town centre") closer and closer to the R.M.s where people are moving to (Oak Bluff, La Salle, et c.), making it more desirable for builders to develop, and buyers to live there. And so it goes, with the City losing residents and the property taxes needed to pay its increasing stack of bills.
The people who don't mind living in the City (and its pre-Unicity suburbs) will be held to paying higher taxes for this, while watching municipal services in their own neighborhood decline. Not only sidewalks, transit, sewers and parks, but quality of life: Waverley West's apologists imagined "a walkable neighborhood where a bus stop is never more than 400 metres away and cafes, libraries, shops and recreation centres are around the corner. [*]"
Sounds like what any neighborhood in central Winnipeg was--before being bludgeoned by ghettoization not only from a City government sleeping on the job, but from a Provincial government on the make.