A shorthanded Steinbach council approved Tuesday a residential variance that a city engineer recommended be denied.
Applicant Michelle Semeschuk received a two-fold variance for her property at 613 Main Street, near Goossen Avenue.
Semeschuk sought a side yard setback of two feet instead of the minimum four feet to enable her to attach a single-car garage to the east side of an existing house.
She also needed permission to relax her front yard setback to 15 feet from 25 feet to bring the house into compliance with city zoning regulations.
No objected were received during a public hearing held Tuesday evening at city hall.
That prompted council—absent Councillors Bill Hiebert and Jac Siemens—to unanimously approve the requests.
"I think it’s appropriate to allow this to go ahead," remarked Councillor Michael Zwaagstra.
City engineer Kyle Shymko disagreed.
"It is recommended that this variance be denied so as to not set a precedent which increases the risk of overland flooding in Steinbach," Shymko wrote in a report.
He explained a side yard setback of two feet could create drainage problems for Semeschuk and one of her neighbours.
City manager Troy Warkentin surmised the drainage risks could be mitigated, and recommended council approve the variance.
City planner Lacey Gaudet concurred with Warkentin, noting a detached garage in the same location wouldn’t need a variance at all.