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Truck driver denied variance for garage

By: Kaitlyn Kozarchuk

Posted: 08/7/2019 9:52 AM

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It’s back to the drawing board for a truck driver after Steinbach city council rejected his variance application to build an attached garage on his property.

Steve Bunk stood in front of council on Tuesday because his building plans left only a foot of yard on the west side of the house, located on the corner of Alexander Way. Bunk said he wanted a wide garage to fit his truck inside.

"We asked our contractor if it’s legal enough to only have a foot for the overhang," said Bunk. "He said ‘It is legal. It’ll just look a little crappy.’"

City manager Troy Warkentin said looks weren’t the only problem with the variance.

Drainage concerns over how close the garage would be to the five-plex next to the house led city administration to recommend rejecting the variance.

Most of council agreed with that assessment.

"Water is a major issue in Steinbach," said Councillor Michael Zwaagstra. "We deal with so many cases where different homes—certainly in the past—weren’t built to proper specifications and decades later we’re dealing with problems."

Zwaagstra said he was apprehensive to approve a variation that city administration had red flagged.

Mayor Earl Funk agreed.

"If you look at the last water event we had—five inches over two days—I got a lot of emails, a lot of phone calls saying, ‘We have water problems.’"

Councillor Jac Siemens didn’t share the same concerns, proposing council gives a variation with two feet of yard on the west.

"I don’t think the water would be quite as much of an issue as presented," said Siemens.

In the end, Siemens was outnumbered. Council denied the variation but suggested Bunk consider other options, like building the garage farther into the lot.

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