An indoor parkade was granted a variance which allows the width of the two-way parking aisle to be 18 feet, four feet less than the zoning bylaw’s stipulated 22 feet.
Approval for the building that’s planned for Wilson Street in Steinbach came from council despite a recommendation from administration to deny it.
City Manager Troy Warkentin could find no other examples of a 22 foot width being varied to 18 feet.
"Based on administrative review and council precedents, the application for variance should not be supported and the recommendation is for council to deny," he said in his report.
A city planner’s report and city engineer’s report also asked council to consider the precedent they are setting, and if they were considering approval, to first order a vehicle turning analysis that would show a full-size pickup could use the facility without any additional turning movements.
Local realtor Mike Fast spoke on behalf of the applicant, Span West Building Corp.
He told council this building has been built more than 100 times in different communities, the first 80 with only a 14-15 foot aisle for the parkade. That was changed to 18 feet for the more recent buildings.
He told council that widening the parking area would force a larger building which would impact the site amenities.
Despite the caution advised by administration, councilors were quick to support the variance.
Michael Zwaagstra pointed out that although the city’s rules are the same for outdoor and indoor parkades, there is a difference between them.
The indoor parkade, he said, is not accessible or even visible to the public and is only there for people who make the choice to live in the building.
Jac Siemens agreed, and said the logic makes sense.
The resolution to grant the variance was supported by all councilors.