New guidelines for Infill Multi-Family development
The City of Steinbach is working to enhance multi-family housing development in established neighbourhoods. The City’s recently developed Infill Multi-Family Units Policy provides guidelines for the development process of infill multi-family housing. The Policy focuses on mixing low, medium, and higher densities in older neighbourhoods in an effort to conserve land and fiscal resources by maximizing use of infrastructure, while contributing to a vibrant, walkable community and enhancing the potential for people of all ages and income levels to live in the same neighbourhood. The new guidelines are intended to help meet these development goals while maintaining the character of established neighbourhoods.
“Council is pleased to have this Policy as a new tool to help create neighborhoods that accommodate a variety of uses,” said Mayor Chris Goertzen. “It was important for Council to see new criteria put in place and to create a process that would respect existing dwelling units while at the same time allowing for increased density that fits in well with the surrounding homes.”
The Policy speaks to compatibility of new land uses being compatible with, and minimizing impacts to, existing land uses. It is Council’s intention that any infill multi-family units are developed while being sensitive to the character of the neighbourhood in which they are built and developers are encouraged to approach infill multi-family projects with creativity and sensitivity, starting with the permit application process.
“I believe this new process will result in multi-family projects that residents will be proud to live in and at the same time respect the area in which it is developed,” said Mayor Goertzen. “The review process will demand more creativity and compromise from developers of multi-family projects in the infill area, resulting in a more aesthetically pleasing city.”
Some of the specific construction standards within the new policy include:
• Infill multi-family building must be oriented to the frontage street similar to adjoining residential properties. Corner properties shall address both public right of ways as if they were a front yard.
• Exterior cladding should attempt to reflect the traditional materials of existing buildings in the surrounding neighbourhood.
• The height of any multi-family developments directly adjacent to a single family dwelling shall be limited so that the height of the multi-family building is generally compatible with adjacent buildings.
• Outdoor patios above the main floor shall not be located in the side yard abutting a single or two family residential property.
• Buffers shall be provided when a multi-family development is to be situated adjacent to a single family dwelling.