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Variance paves way for church relocation

By: Grant Burr

Posted: 10/5/2018 11:58 AM

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Steinbach city council returned to the subject of Calvary Chapel’s wish to relocate into the old Steinbach Credit Union building at 305 Main Street on Tuesday night.

The city has said that 100 parking spots are required for the church to use the property but the variance request sought to allow the building to be used even though only 10 spots are available.

Though city administration continued to express concern that a variance would make downtown parking challenges worse, city council unanimously approved the variance, though not without debate over additional conditions. The church will continue to be restricted to the use of 10 parking spots, during hours when Steinbach Credit Union is operating. It will also be required to contribute to annual parking lot maintenance costs, calculated at $5,200.

An amendment by Councillor Earl Funk to rework that cost based on usage times, not the number of required parking stalls, was defeated, as was another amendment by Councillor Michael Zwaagstra to remove the conditions entirely.

The majority of council agreed that attaching some conditions was appropriate, given that the variance will continue on with the property even if it is no longer used as a church in the future.

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