You may have heard about the plans to develop Precinct K, a large parcel of land south of Island Lakes and Royalwood. It is bounded by Lagimodiere (east), the Perimeter Highway (south), and the Seine River (west): Precinct K – Precinct Plan Boundary
It is largely agricultural land with a few homes and businesses scattered along Creek Bend Road and the Perimeter. The major landowner, Genstar, has hired a consulting firm (MMM Group) to begin the discussion of the future of Precinct K. They have met with city departments and a few stakeholder groups including Save Our Seine, as well as the other landowners. Their goal is to rough-out an overall concept (area structure plan) over the next two months based on the input received, present this to a wider public audience (March), and seek approval from the Riel Community Committee at an official public hearing (April). This is a very aggressive schedule for determining the core elements that will shape how Precinct K is developed. More time is needed to produce a well- researched and collaborative plan.
Why does SOS care?
How this land is planned and ultimately developed will have significant impacts on the future of the Seine River Greenway.
Almost all of the remaining forest along the river is privately-owned. Some of it lies in the flood fringe zone and can be purchased by the City as a waterway requirement. Other parcels of mature forest lie beyond the flood fringe and along old shelterbelts. There may also be parcels of tall-grass prairie and wetland worthy of protection. An inventory is needed to identify the high-priority parcels.
Rivers, shelterbelts, and naturalized rights-of-way (rail and road) provide important corridors for the movement of people and wildlife. Paths and bike trails along these routes connect facilities within the new community (schools, rec centres, and parks) and link to nearby communities (Sage Creek, Island Lakes, Royalwood).
No one knows for sure how many deer use the Bois-des-esprits forest and move freely along the river to feed in the farm fields of Precinct K. Development along the east bank of the river may restrict the movement of deer. Loss of habitat throughout Precinct K may lead to over-browsing within the Bois-des-esprits, habitat deterioration, and an increase in deer/car accidents in the surrounding area.
Water Quantity, Timing, and Quality
The entire precinct lies within the Seine River watershed. How the water from the land is handled will impact the amount, timing, and quality of the water entering the Seine River. This may negatively affect the use of the river for canoeing and education.