On January 1, 2018 the annexation of approximately 2,800 acres of land from the R.M. of Hanover to City of Steinbach will be official (map below). Over the coming year, the city will be reviewing its land use policies, known as Steinbach's Official Community Plan, and Zoning By-Laws. This includes guidelines for land use, building, and development of properties in the City of Steinbach. The review will take into account current city properties as well as new properties being added. The review is expected to be completed by December 2018.
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June 24, 2015
The City of Steinbach and the R.M. of Hanover have reached an annexation agreement for approximately 7,300 acres of land. The agreement, which is subject to an approval process set out by the Manitoba Municipal Board (MMB), was reached through friendly negotiations over the past year and accommodates future long-term growth plans of both the city and municipality.
“This is positive growth for our City and its role as a regional centre,” said Steinbach’s Mayor, Chris Goertzen, “We are expanding the boundaries to accommodate our growing city and planning in an organized and efficient manner. This is a proactive application and truly looks at long-term growth requirements – for the City and for the region.”
The areas identified in the proposed annexation, which include significant amounts of undeveloped and vacant land parcels, would expand the boundaries around Steinbach, with the largest expansion area to the west of the City.
“The R.M. of Hanover is pleased to reach an agreement with the City of Steinbach,” said R.M. of Hanover Reeve, Stan Toews, “This is part of good planning for future commercial and residential growth for our communities and the region.”
The agreement includes a tax loss compensation amount to be paid to the R.M. of Hanover for just under one million dollars over eight years from the City of Steinbach. This compensation is to off-set the loss of tax revenue from property that would no longer be within the R.M. of Hanover boundaries.
Landowners within the proposed area will receive an information package from the City of Steinbach in the near future. The package will include answers to common questions and information about the annexation process.
With many shared borders, this is the largest land agreement reached between the City of Steinbach and R.M. of Hanover to date. This would be the seventh boundary expansion by the City of Steinbach since its incorporation in 1947.
What is annexation?
A change in boundaries between neighboring municipalities and the act of incorporating land from one municipality into another municipality. The City of Steinbach is proposing that some areas located within the R.M. of Hanover be brought into the City’s boundaries.
Annexation does not involve a change in land ownership.
What is the difference between annexation and expropriation?
Annexation does not involve a change in ownership of land. Owners continue to own their property, but since the boundary of the City changes, the property shifts from being located in the R.M. to within the city. If the application for annexation is successful, property owners and residents would no longer live in the R.M. of Hanover, they would live in Steinbach.
Expropriation occurs when an owner is forced to sell his or her land, at market value, to a municipality for the purpose of a specific project (e.g. roadway expansion).
Why does the City want to expand its boundaries?
Steinbach recognizes the importance of planning for economic diversity, efficient land use, cost-effective infrastructure and sustainable population growth.
With the growth that our City and region is experiencing it is important to plan for the future. Annexation will secure land to address future needs and allows for orderly development in these areas by bringing them into the City’s jurisdiction. It’s important for the City to look to the future and ensure it has an adequate inventory of suitable lands (i.e. residential, commercial and industrial) to meet future demand and that appropriate land use planning is done.
The City has researched and completed an analysis to look at the current and future land needs to accommodate growth. More information about the anticipated future growth and subsequent requirements will be forthcoming by the fall of 2015.
When will the annexation become effective?
The City anticipates submitting a formal application to the province for the annexation before year’s end. The application is only the first step in a process that would seek provincial approval. The approval and consultation process is set out by the Manitoba Municipal Board (MMB) and ensures impacted land owners are consulted and provided an opportunity to learn about the application and provide their feedback before approval.
How can I find out if my property is part of the annexation?
All landowners impacted by the annexation will be formally notified by the City. The attached map identifies all properties situated in the area for the proposed expansion. Direct mail notices have been sent to the most recent available owners of record.
What are the benefits of annexation?
Affected lands will be eligible to receive City services as urban development occurs in a staged manner over time. Land owners may choose to connect to City water and sewer utilities at their own costs, where possible. New developments and/or redevelopment will be required to be fully serviced with City water and sewer.
Once annexation is effective, the City will be responsible to provide recreation, roadway maintenance, policing, garbage, recycling, and fire protection services. Annexation also allows for appropriate land use planning as the City continues to grow and expand.
What is the benefit of annexation to property owners? Will my taxes be affected by the annexation?
Opportunities for property owners are created by the type and quality of services that can be provided by the City. Services available include: quality drinking water, public sewers, storm water and drainage maintenance programs, enhanced police protection and road construction, repair and maintenance programs. Being a part of Steinbach also allows residents to be served by such citizen-responsive programs as park and recreation services, handi-transit services, and library services. Some services could initially remain unchanged for residents such as garbage and recycling collection services as the City develops service programs in the area.
Generally, taxes can be expected to change with annexation to any city. Steinbach has the lowest overall mill rates of urban centers in the province. Land parcels within the proposal area will see a change to Steinbach levies and will receive a Steinbach issued tax bill after the process is completed. Changes would arise from the differences in the services and programs available in Steinbach.
Many factors, including the enhanced service levels, will also contribute to an increase in the market values of these properties. Residential, commercial or other development opportunities are also more likely to be realized by landowners whose properties exist within the boundaries of an urban center.
Will the R.M. of Hanover continue to deliver services to the area affected by the annexation?
The City will take over the responsibility of providing services for all lands included within the new boundaries created by the annexation.
Will I have to pay for sewer/water infrastructure and hook up? When?
It is not always feasible for rural municipalities to provide a full range of City services to areas surrounding an urban center. Lands within the proposal area will be eligible to receive sewer and water as these services are extended and as urban development occurs. Fees for these hook ups will be determined at the time of connection, and depend on a number of variables.
Will I have to pay for the new curling rink, other city facilities or any accumulated City debt?
Regardless whether new to the City’s boundaries or the oldest city neighborhoods, taxes collected from lands within the city limits are used to pay for approved city operating expenses.
Recent capital improvements or other infrastructure projects that require annual debt payments will be paid by landowners located within current City boundaries whose properties are within the benefitting areas of those projects. Once part of the City, property owners whose lands are located in the annexation area will be asked to pay for new City projects.
Will my property’s assessed value change when my property becomes part of the City?
Typically, when new land comes into a city it is assessed at a higher value because land within a city is deemed to be more valuable than land located in a rural municipality. The higher market value is seen by many landowners as an opportunity or benefit.
What is the process for the annexation?
The City will be holding public information sessions in late summer 2015 to address landowner questions and concerns. The City anticipates submitting a formal annexation application to the Manitoba Municipal Board (MMB) by year’s end. Once confirmed with the MMB, a public hearing will be held (Date TBD) to again allow landowners an opportunity to provide their feedback. Following the public hearing, the MMB may request further information, or make their decision.
A date for the public hearing will not be set until the City submits a formal application to the MMB. When a date is set, formal notification will be sent to affected landowners.
Will I have restriction on the use of my property? What kind of land uses will be permitted?
The existing rural area land uses of properties that are incorporated into city limits would be permitted to continue. When a landowner decides to develop their property, such as creating a new residential neighborhood, commercial area, or industrial park, it could be re-designated to the appropriate use category, subject to the City’s land use plans and policies.
What are the farm land use implications? Can I still farm?
There are agricultural areas within current City boundaries that continue to operate in a traditional capacity. The agricultural uses in the areas that will be brought into the City would be permitted to continue. Over time, these agricultural lands will eventually be developed for appropriate commercial, industrial, residential or other uses. The City’s Official Community Plan ensures that these agricultural lands will remain viable and in large holdings until such time as they are required for development.
The City’s objectives would
1. Provide for an orderly, staged and economic conversion of agricultural land to urban land uses.
2. Encourage the growth of the City in an economic manner that has a minimum adverse impact on remaining agriculture operations.
3. Minimize the potential impacts of livestock operations on the quality of life of residents while allowing existing livestock operations to continue until such time as they are no longer viable, or the land is required for urban expansion.
Agricultural, urban holdings, or a similar land use category would be intended to provide for an orderly transition from farm or rural land to other uses in areas planned for eventual urban development. This would also ensure that future development is compatible with the City’s land use plans and policies.
How were the new boundaries identified?
The City worked with its consultants to identify land areas required to accommodate future expected growth. Geographical and natural features, as well as social and community factors were considered and logical, straight forward boundary lines were identified.
How can I give feedback on the proposed annexation?
Consultation with landowners is an important part of this process. Public information sessions will take place and provide an opportunity for impacted landowners to provide their valuable feedback over the next few months. These sessions will also provide a chance to learn more about the application and have questions answered. It is anticipated that the sessions will take place in late summer 2015. Formal notification of the dates/times of the sessions will be provided to affected landowners.
How can I learn more?
The City hosted a public hearing in August 2015 to address landowner questions and concerns. The City is committed keeping landowners and residents updated during the annexation application process.