Steinbach city council has grudgingly approved a Variance for a home at 442 Elmdale Street. Council was told Tuesday night that the owners are selling the home and need the variation because the property does not comply with the city's Zoning Bylaw. Councillor Michael Zwaagstra says the problem was that this same homeowner came to council 12 years ago for a variance and then did not follow the terms of the agreement.
"The owner of this property had received a variance by council back in 2005 and then construction went beyond what had been approved."
The carport was built too close to the property line, the shed was placed too close to the property line and the deck was built too close to the property line. Zwaagstra says that is not appropriate.
"When you receive a variation, you have to operate within the guidelines that are given in the variance. And so council chose to levy a fine, in this case it was $430, which is on top of the variation application fee (of $430) to send a message that, when you receive a variance, you have to stay within the boundaries you're given."
Council approved the motion by a vote of 5-1. Deputy Mayor John Fehr was opposed. He feels the fine should be even higher.
"I think that we need to send a message that you can't go and ask for a variance and not comply with it and not have consequences. The fine needs to be substantial so that there's a message out there that you can't do that."