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City sidesteps sidewalk strife

By: Grant Burr

Posted: 05/4/2018 2:45 PM

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Sidewalk installation in Steinbach's Hampton Estates area will proceed as planned, despite an effort from one couple to have a planned sidewalk along Brighton Lane moved further from their property line.

Having unsuccessfully raised the issue with the city's engineering department and city manager, Berny and Marlene Hiebert arrived at city council hoping for a solution on Tuesday night.

City design specifications dictate that sidewalks are to be built one foot from residential property lines.

Berny Hiebert explained the sidewalk's location would present a number of safety and privacy issues.

City engineer Phil Kalyta explained to council that moving the sidewalk would create a ripple effect that would impact underground infrastructure along the street.

Kalyta added the city was willing to consider changes in design, only when technical or economic opportunities are present. In this case, however, Kalyta anticipated only increased costs from a design change.

A tender for the project has already be awarded and construction is scheduled to begin within two weeks.

He also pointed out the situation was partly a product of the Hampton Estates development plan itself. He noted that developer, G&E Homes, was granted a request to reduce residential sideyard requirements, which allowed homes to be built closer to property lines and closer to sidewalks as a result.

Though council members empathized with the couple's situation, there was little appetite to begin re-evaluating the city's sidewalk standards and council agreed no action would be taken, meaning sidewalk installation will move ahead.

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