Artists Emporium is concerned that the city’s requirements for parking spaces could lead to the disappearance of long-standing local art businesses.
The local art supply store has been around for over four decades, but recently hit a snag. Owner Janeen Junson told CTV News she bought a new building for the business on Roseberry Street in September and had been waiting for months to get her occupancy permit from the city and welcome customers back. .
“I feel like I’m at an impasse. We quickly complied with everything they asked us to do,” she said, adding that the city was forcing her to make changes building ventilation and wheelchair ramp.
After those upgrades were completed, Junson said the city told him they needed 42 parking spaces and had to pave a gravel lot behind the building — an area they hoped to use as space. green where artists could paint in the summer. month – to make room for parking.
She said she felt the 42 parking space requirement was excessive, as she only averaged six to seven vehicles at a time in the previous building. On top of that, Junson said having to gravel the lot would cost him more than $100,000.
Junson filed a waiver request with the city that would allow him to include the parking lot without having to pave the lot. The city denied the request to keep the gravel lot as is, saying it had a “negative effect” on the parking area and surrounding streets and properties. However, Junson said none of the neighboring back lots were paved.
She has appealed to the city which she hopes will allow her to move forward without having to pave the land – a cost which she says could be detrimental.
“It could be the demise of Artists Emporium,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of COVID shutdowns and it’s just tough as a small business owner at the best of times, let alone that.”
Junson’s concerns are expected to be heard by the city’s appeal committee Thursday morning. She said she has already received support from organizations and school boards in Winnipeg that rely on her business for art supplies.
“We have to get up and run,” she said.