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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Council to deal with three separate zoning amendment requests on April 6

by Sylene Argent

Essex Council hosted a special meeting on Monday evening to discuss three separate zoning matters.

  Lori Chadwick, Director of Development Services, said the meeting was to satisfy the public meeting requirements under the Planning Act for all three matters.

  As the meeting was meant to hear input from the public, decisions from Council would not be solicited. The matters will be up for Council consideration during the April 6 Council meeting.

Kiwanis Club requests Site Specific Zoning

amendment to create four residential lots

Representatives of the Kiwanis Sunshine Point Camp approached Council to request a Site Specific Zoning Amendment for the property located at 955 Essex County Rd 50.

  The applicants want to reduce the site specific zoning conditions, limiting the minimum lot area from 4000 square meters to 1850 square metres, to permit residential infilling for four residential lots.

  The subject property is two acres of residential lands, on the southside of County Road 50 East, and are zoned Residential District 1.1, for low density housing under the Town of Essex Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw, Bylaw 1037.

  Anytime there is a zoning amendment request, the neighbourhood is looked at to measure impact.

  The property, Rita Jabbour, Manager of Planning Services, explained, is currently being used as an accessory to the adjacent Kiwanis Camp, which is located to the west. There is a woodlot within 120 meters of the property.

  Anytime an application is received for Zoning Bylaw amendment, any alteration needs to be evaluated regarding potential impact of the natural areas, Jabbour noted.

  The subject property is along Breezeway Drive, which is owned but not assumed by the Town of Essex, which means the Town maintains its minimal standard. It is a gravel road.

  There is a municipally-owned and operated water supply, but no municipal sanitary sewer, meaning private onsite septic systems would be required.

  Back in 2014, the applicants approached Council with a Zoning Bylaw amendment to change the zoning designations of the subject property and Kiwanis Camp from Green District to Residential District to match the Official Plan designation, and were successful in getting that zoning change, Jabbour said.

  At the time, three dwellings were proposed for the three parcels. As there was potential for more than three lots, Council at the time approved the zoning change, but with a supplementary regulation that would restrict the building lot to a minimum lot area to 4000 square meters.

  When the Registered Plan of Subdivision was registered in 1929, the parcel included 13 lots. The applicants want to assemble the lots to make four, but cannot, due to the aforementioned restriction, Jabbour said.

  Current regulations through the Town include that an 1850 square-meter minimum lot area is needed for lots not serviced by sanitary sewer in the R1.1 District.

  Anytime there is a zoning amendment request, the Town needs to ensure what is being proposed is permitted under the Town’s Official Plan and Provincial Policy Statement, which directs land use for all of Ontario.

  Essex Fire & Rescue had no objections. The County of Essex noted there will be County Road setback regulations, permits will be required, and access would have to be from Breezeway Drive. ERCA also had no objects and noted permits would be required prior to construction, and that an Environmental Impact Assessment would not be required.

  No public comments were received as of Friday, March 26.

  A Report to Council on the matter will be tabled for Council consideration at the April 6 meeting. Council could choose to approve, deny, or defer the matter at that point.

  Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche questioned what Essex would answer if residents wanted the road paved in the future. Because the Town owns it, but has not assumed it, it only maintains its minimal standard.

  CAO Chris Nepszy said the process would include a high-level petition from residents, if they wanted the road upgraded. If developers ask abour road status, they are told, but the Town would not know a lot on such a road is being sold if the question is not forwarded. It is something that could be added to the public mapping site, so road status can be researched by developers.

Councillor Joe Garon wondered if the Town could tell them about road status when developers would need to come to the Town for permits. Nepszy said that is something that can be looked into.

  Edwin C. Hooker, Agent, from Wolf Hooker Professional Corporation, and Dan Inverarity, Representative of the Kiwanis Club, were able to answer any questions Council had on the matter.

  Councillor Vander Doelen said this lot is ideal for upper-level homes and thinks it would improve property values of the neighbourhood. He hopes Kiwanis sells the lots sooner rather than later. He suggested adding that the future owners of the lots and other residents of the street are fully responsible for the upgrading of the street to municipal standard as an addendum to the passage of the Zoning Bylaw. Jabbour added that is something that can be thought about. Perhaps it is something she can talk to the solicitor with registering it on title.

  Hooker suggested perhaps an agreement can be made with the municipality that the road is owned by the municipality, but maintained to the gravel standard and any cost of upgrading would be the responsibility of the future lot owners. Inverarity never heard of such a thing happening, but said it is up to Council.

  Councillor Kim Verbeek asked Inverarity if the camp is just selling the lots or working with a developer to build and sell. Inverarity said the lots to the east, are not used much anymore. He has no intention of selling at this point. At some point in time, he may not be around to fundraise for the camp, though he said this is a lifetime commitment for him. In case he one day is no longer able to be involved, he is preparing a backstop in equity of land that can be sold down the road.

  Councillor Morley Bowman asked about drainage and who is responsible for that. Inverarity said the camp has private drainage that goes out to County Road 50 and flows out to an abutting creek.

Council received the presentation.

Request to use existing dwelling to accommodate housing farm help

  A Site Specific Zoning By-Law Amendment request was presented to Council for 3900 North Malden Road.

  The applicants approached Council, with a request to use the existing single-detached dwelling to accommodate the housing of farm help.

  Manager of Planning Services, Rita Jabbour, explained the property is 119 acres of agricultural land on the northside of Malden Road. Its Official Plan designation is agricultural, with the existing zoning being Agricultural District 1.1, for general ag production and farm production support activities. The property has a single-detached dwelling, two pole barns, one tobacco barn, and one grain bin building. There is also livestock onsite.

  Jabbour noted there is a natural heritage feature within 120 meters of the site, and the lot fronts North Malden Road, which is municipally-owned. There are municipal-owned and operated piped water supply, but there are no municipality-owned sanitary sewers, so an onsite septic system is needed.

  Jabbour said the property recently changed hands from father to son, and the father is residing in the existing dwelling. The applicant wants to build his future home there.

  The Town’s Zoning Bylaw only allows one single-detached dwelling in the A1.1 District. The Town plan does allow one or more ancillary dwellings for the housing farm help, with certain regulations.

  Essex Fire & Rescue had no objections. ERCA had no objections, but noted permits are required before building. The Town’s Department of Infrastructure Services had no objections, but noted water would need to be supplied to both dwellings from existing plumbing to ensure no severances could occur in the future. The Town’s Building Department noted proof of existing farm labour accommodations may be required at the Ministry Level.

  There have been no public comments received on the matter as of Friday, March 26.

  The matter will go before Council on April 6. Council may choose to approve, deny, or defer the matter. If approved, it would need to proceed to Site Plan Approval.

  Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche believes this is a logical solution to keep an older structure that should not be eliminated at this time. He has heard from farmers they would love to have accommodations for farm help.

  Council received the presentation.

Site Specific Zoning Amendment

requested to add RV sales facility to South Talbot

An application was submitted for a Site Specific Zoning Bylaw amendment, to allow for the development of an automobile sales lot for the sale and display of recreational vehicles, in addition to one building for a sales office parts store and repair garage.

  The subject property is five-acres of industrial land, located on the northside of South Talbot Road, east of Highway # 3 in Essex Centre.

  It is zoned industrial in the Town’s Official Plan and zoned manufacturing District 1.3 for light industrial and business park uses under the Town of Essex Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw, Bylaw 1037.

  A motor vehicle dealership is not permitted under M1.3 zoning category, Rita Jabbour, Manager of Planning Services, said. A zoning change is needed to allow the aforementioned requests. The self-storage facility also being proposed is permitted under the M1.3 Zoning District.

  It is on a municipally-owned and operated road (South Talbot Road), and has municipally-owned and operated water supply and sanitary sewer.  

  The applicants are the proprietors of Sturgeon Woods RV Sales and Campground in Leamington. The desire is to construct this plan in phases, Jabbour said, adding the sales lot would be first, then the addition of the other buildings would follow.

  The Town of Essex Official Plan allows for a motor vehicle dealership on lands designated industrial, so no amendments are needed there.

The application was circulated to local agencies. Essex Fire & Rescue had no objections. ERCA had no objections, but noted further stormwater comments will be provided at the time of Site Plan Control. The MTO had no objections, but noted site access had to be from South Talbot Road. It added that building and land use permits are required, in addition to a site plan, grading plan, drainage plan, servicing plan, and stormwater management plan. In addition, all plans will be reviewed during the Site Plan Control stage.

  As of March 26, no public commented was received on the matter.

  A report will be presented to Council on April 6. Council could then approve deny, or defer the matter at that time.

  “More good news for the Town of Essex,” Mayor Larry Snively said. “I think this will be a plus for our town.”

  Council received the presentation.

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