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Appeals board lets homeowners build new deck that contravenes bylaw

The board heard recently from Jared and Alyssa Robinson of 65 Oxford Street West, who wanted to remove an existing veranda and construct a rear yard deck and a side-yard addition.
city hall doors
Moose Jaw City Hall. (photo by Larissa Kurz)

Two homeowners can remove a deteriorating veranda from their home and install a new backyard deck after the Development Appeals Board approved their request to undertake the work. 

The board met on Aug. 17 and heard from Jared and Alyssa Robinson of 65 Oxford Street West, who asked for a variance from the City of Moose Jaw’s zoning bylaw to remove an existing veranda and construct a rear yard deck and a side-yard addition, a board report explained. As a result, the rear yard setback would be 5.57 metres (18.3 feet), contrary to the 7.5 metres (24.6 feet) in the bylaw, while the side-yard setback would be 0.67 metres (2.2 feet), contrary to the 1.2 metres (3.9 feet) laid out in the zoning bylaw.

The property measures roughly 44 feet by 100 feet and is zoned R3 high-density residential district. The size of the proposed deck and addition would measure roughly 250 square feet, while the height of the proposed deck would be four feet.

The Robinsons argued that tearing down the veranda and constructing a new deck onto their master bedroom would add needed space while removing the problem of water damage to the home that the veranda causes, the report said. They also argued that they were only asking for five extra feet, while none of their neighbours had complained about these proposed changes.

After hearing from the Robinsons and city officials, the board approved the homeowners’ request for three reasons:

  • It would not be a special privilege since the board would grant similar variances to other parties in the same circumstance
  • Granting the appeal would not be contrary to the purpose and intent of the bylaw, nor would it amount to a relaxation of the bylaw that would affect the health, safety or general welfare of the neighbourhood
  • It would not injuriously affect neighbouring properties, particularly since no neighbours objected to the project

During the Sept. 13 regular council meeting, city council unanimously approved a motion to receive and file the report from the board.

The next regular council meeting is Monday, Sept. 27.