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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Essex Town Council meeting notes - November 1, 2021

by Sylene Argent

Site-specific exemption from Fence By-Law returns

Council received the verbal presentation from a delegation and did not support the request for an exemption from Section 9 of the Fence By-Law No. 384.

  The matter first came before Council at the October 4 meeting. At that time, Council advised administration to get a legal opinion on the matter.

  On Monday, Essex’s Director of Legislative Services/Clerk, Robert Auger, said a legal opinion had been gathered, which is subject to client/solicitor privilege.  

  Mayor Larry Snively said Council is well aware of the situation.


Building Automation System replacement project

Council received the 2021 post-budget capital project to replace the building automation system that controls the heating, cooling, ventilation, and boiler systems at the Essex Municipal Building, McGregor Community Centre, and the Maedel Community Centre at a cost of $60,000.

  The funds will come from the Asset Management Reserve.

  In the Report to Council, it notes the system failed and needed to be replaced. While in manual override, it adds, the units do not have scheduling capabilities and cannot be controlled remotely.

  The control units are nine-years old and are at the end of their lifecycle.


Site Plan Control Approval granted for 96 County Road 50 West

Council approved the execution and registration of Bylaw 2070, to enter into a Site Plan Control Agreement between the Corporation of the Town of Essex and Grove Hotel Ltd., for the development of a motel at 96 County Road 50 West.

  The Report to Council notes the Town of Essex was in receipt of a Site Plan Control application for the Town-owned property, which is around 3749 square-metres, vacant, and is zoned Residential District 3.1 for high density residential uses.

  At the June 21 meeting, the Report to Council adds, Bylaw 2034 was passed to permit a motel on the subject property as an additional main use, with site specific building regulations. The amendment received no appeals and is now final and binding.

  The Municipality has entered into an accepted Agreement of Purchase and Sale with Jeff Lewis, Kim Lewis, and James Flynn for the sale of the lands. The sale is conditional on receiving Site Plan Control approval, the Report to Council continues.

  As previously discussed publicly, the applicants wish to develop a two-storey motel development with 28 guestrooms and a 58-square metre café with outdoor patio area. There will also be an ancillary parking area to accommodate 34 parking spaces, including two accessible parking spaces and two bicycle parking spaces.

  Since the subject property was previously used as a gas station, the Town of Essex also retained Wood Consulting to complete a ground penetrating radar survey, and is assessing next steps for removing and remediating areas of gas filler caps and old concrete islands, the Report to Council notes.

  The development charge that would have been payable upon building permit issuance for this development is $42,661.32. As the Town has waived development charges on such projects, but still has to fund it, it was recommended it come from 2022 Operating Budget, under Council’s Costing Centre.

  Director of Development Services, Lori Chadwick, said the property will be the future Grove Motor Inn.

  “We are very excited. We have had a lot of hands in this. We had a tonne of teamwork; a lot of batons being passed between departments. We are very excited to be able to provide this to you tonight. This agreement sets the tone for site-servicing matters, site matters, landscaping matters, lighting matters, traffic matters, so many things,” Chadwick said.

  “This is one step closer to seeing that shovel in the ground for the future of Colchester,” she added.  

  Councillor Sherry Bondy shared the Town is going to remove the gas tanks and do a soil check to ensure there is no contamination.

  Councillor Chris Vander Doelen thanked all Town staff for their work on the project.

  “The Town of Essex has spent a quarter of a century trying to replot its economic future and some of the key aspects of our economic future involve agri-tourism and wineries and the region around Colchester. And one of the things we always wanted was a hotel or motel because there is no hotel/motel south of Highway 3…we have been desperate for this. We are very glad that the Grove Motel investors and staff stepped forward to do this for us. I suspect it is going to be hugely successful. I certainly hope so,” Vander Doelen said.


Site Plan Control Amendment for 1110 Ridge Road approved

Council passed Bylaw Number 2082, to amend the existing Site Plan Control Agreement between the Corporation of the Town of Essex and Upper Canada Growers (UGC) Land INC, for the construction of an around 3478 square-metre greenhouse at 1110 Ridge Road.

  The Report to Council notes the subject lands are designated agriculture in the Town’s Official Plan and zoned Agricultural District 1.1 (A1.1) for general agriculture and farm production support activities.

  On December 21, 2020, Council passed a by-law to enter into a Site Plan Control Agreement with UCG Land INC for the construction of two ancillary dwellings to accommodate the housing of farm help. The applicant is now wishing to add the greenhouse, and has an interest in proceeding with additional phases for greenhouse expansion in the next two or three years, in addition to a future warehouse.

  Director of Development Services, Lori Chadwick, said this is another great project staff is proud to bring forward.

  She added one of the requirements is entering into a water agreement for water service. The Report to Council notes the proposed greenhouse expansion would continue to draw water in from the existing municipal watermain fronting Ridge Road. The existing watermain was found to have sufficient unreserved capacity to support the proposed greenhouse expansion for Phase 1, without having a significant impact on the remainder of the municipal water distribution system. Future phases, however, would require a new application at the time of expansion with no assurances that additional water delivery or treatment capacity would be available.

  Councillor Kim Verbeek asked if the proponent would be using night lighting and if there would be light pollution. She also wanted to know when Council would receive information for the upcoming light pollution by-law that was to be worked on.

  Chadwick said this is not a typical greenhouse, where the lights would be on beaming to the sky. The crop inside the greenhouse includes small tree saplings. The provisions in the Site Plan Agreement, she added, are there to protect the neighbouring property owners.

  She said the light and odour pollution by-law is in the works.


Removal of Holding Zone Symbol for

648 County Road 11 approved

Council adopted By-Law 2079, to remove the “Holding” restriction for Parts 4, 5, and 6 at 648 County Road 11.

The Report to Council notes as a result of a recent application for severance, the Town’s Committee of Adjustment has ordered the “Holding” restriction be removed on the severed parcels, Parts 4 and 5 and the retained parcel, Part 6. The severance of a 0.5-acre parcel from 648 Queen Street, to be merged with the lands directly to the west, and known as 600 County Road 11, as a lot addition, was permitted through the Committee of Adjustment.

  It also permitted the severance of a 23.43-acre parcel from 648 County Road 11, and was granted to facilitate the sale of the vacant lands for future residential development. The retained lot measures 2.2 acres and consists of an existing single-detached dwelling and outbuildings. The retained parcel will remain in the possession of the current owner, the Report to Council notes.

 Notices of Motion to be brought forward

at the November 15 meeting for consideration

• Councillor Sherry Bondy will ask Essex Council to have a public discussion about concerns regarding the history of grandfathering in junkyards in a residential/agricultural area, property standards, environmental concerns around storage and leakage of vehicles, etc.

• Councillor Sherry Bondy will ask Essex Council to have a discussion about the cutting and clearing of trees on public property and the potential creation of policies and by-laws regarding the removal of trees on public property by residents.  

  For more Essex Council news, see the article“Essex Council responds to Kingsville’s request for a comprehensive review of E.L.K. Energy” in this edition of the Essex Free Press.  

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