A 62-lot rural residential subdivision will be developed along the dividing line between La Broquerie and Steinbach, council in the rural municipality decided last week.
Hirschfeld Park Estates was approved by La Broquerie council last Wednesday following a virtual public hearing. Several related road openings and minor variances were also approved.
Located south of Highway 52 between Hirschfeld Road and East Gate Drive, the 147-acre subdivision is the first major development project approved since a protracted dispute over boundary development was resolved to the city’s satisfaction in April 2020.
Manitoba’s municipal relations minister decided the city deserved a continued say in how land is developed within two miles of its boundary. La Broquerie council had spent the better part of two years trying to delete the clause from its development plan.
At last week’s hearing, Alan Klippenstein of Schinkel Properties Inc. told council the minimum two-acre lots will be serviced by private wells and septic fields. A 2.7-acre park and 2.6 kilometres of walking paths will also be created.
Vehicles will access the neighbourhood’s paved internal streets from Deerfoot Trail and Hunter Drive. Klippenstein said the city nixed vehicle access from Hirschfeld Road.
"That was our preference, but it was shot down several times."
The workaround didn’t sit well with Lubna Yeasmin, a provincial community planner, who noted in a report that 62 homes will rely on an adjacent residential neighbourhood for access.
"This will increase traffic on the internal roads and provide limitations for emergency service access," Yeasmin wrote.
However, her report included feedback from La Broquerie Fire Chief Alain Nadeau, who identified no concerns with the subdivision.
Council wasn’t troubled by the road access but ordered Klippenstein to pave the walking paths, explaining residents tend to avoid unpaved paths and walk on the street instead.
Before the vote, Coun. Ivan Normandeau alluded to past disagreements with city council.
"I’m just hoping that our neighbours to the west don’t stop this project."
No formal objections were filed against the proposal, but two neighbouring property owners expressed concerns.
Homeowners Pat and Darlene Siemens urged Klippenstein to preserve as many trees as possible. Klippenstein said clearing will be kept to a minimum.
Frantz Inn general manager Jimmy Koo said the development could complicate a longstanding agreement that allows the hotel, and the South-East Veterinary Hospital next door, to locate their septic fields beyond their property lines.
Klippenstein proposed increasing the size of the two commercial lots to give the hotel and vet clinic the land where the septic fields are located. Koo said that could still cause problems if he ever sold the business.
In a letter to the provincial planning branch, City of Steinbach planner Lacey Gaudet noted the lot expansions appeared to be inconsistent with La Broquerie’s development plan.
"It’s been like this since 1975 and there’s never been a problem…but maybe you need legal advice," Coun. Larry Tetrault told Koo.
Coun. Darrell Unger proposed a simpler solution: bring a backhoe.
"You don’t have to move the field, just move the pipes."
Klippenstein said Koo’s concerns were no reason to deny the subdivision.
"The subdivision doesn’t create this problem; this problem already exists."