Steinbach city council this week gave final approval to the city's updated Official Community Plan and the revised Zoning Bylaw. Mayor Chris Goertzen says the changes were largely made to accommodate the annexation of 2,700 acres from the RM of Hanover. He notes until the revised community plan and the zoning bylaw were given final passage Tuesday, the annexed areas were still under the RM of Hanover's rules.

"Those new sections of the city will now actually have a zoning bylaw that they can adhere to. They do not have to revert back to the RM of Hanover zoning bylaw, the can now use ours. It's good news for them, it provides clarity."

Councillor Michael Zwaagstra moved approval of the Official Community Plan

"There were some important changes here because the city has annexed some significant land from the Rural Municipality of Hanover and we need to make sure that our Official Community Plan is up to date. There are some changes to reflect that and there are some other minor revisions we have made as well. I believe it's a good document and it sets the city in a good direction for the next number of years."

Councillor Jac Siemens moved approval of the Zoning Bylaw but notes it will need more work.

"One thing I would like future councils to consider is to do a complete parking review in the Central Business District. I think it is too restrictive. But at this point, I move to approve it, but just a heads up that at some point in the near future we need to do a parking review in that area."

City council gave unanimous approval to both motions.

The city is required by provincial law to review its Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw every five years. This update came a year early because of the annexation.