Erin enterprise to completely function on agricultural land following council vote
ERIN – Resident and enterprise proprietor Keith Barrick can see a bit farther into the long run after council voted to completely enable Keith’s Trailer Gross sales to proceed working on agricultural land.
Barrick is the proprietor of Keith’s Trailer Gross sales Inc., which has been working at its Trafalgar Highway location since he and his household moved to city from Orillia in 2016.
The household lives adjoining to the enterprise, and the Barricks bought the property in 2020.
For the previous seven years, Keith’s Trailer Gross sales has operated on borrowed time with council quickly permitting the enterprise to stay on what’s thought of prime agricultural land, opposite to native and provincial land-use coverage.
The land was beforehand farmed earlier than changing into the positioning of a market and bakery retailer.
“For nearly 30 years, this space has been a business agricultural operation,” states a Jan. 2023 planning report authored by Robert Lengthy of Lengthy Environmental Consultants.
In relation to agricultural lands, particularly these thought of “prime,” land-use coverage goals to guard it for agricultural use.
Nevertheless, coverage is open to interpretation and caveats abound.
Keith’s Trailer Gross sales was twice granted exceptions to maintain utilizing the land regardless of the prime agricultural zoning, for three-years at a time, starting in 2020.
The newest exception, referred to as a zoning bylaw modification, was granted in 2022, carrying the Barricks from 2023 to 2026.
However six years of working a enterprise based mostly on precarious land preparations was sufficient, and Barrick, following up on recommendation given to him throughout a earlier council time period, implored council this 12 months to make the exception everlasting.
“I stand earlier than you, a husband, a father of three,” Barrick advised councillors as he turned emotional at a March 9 public assembly.
Steeling himself, he added, “And a small enterprise proprietor who proudly calls Erin his house.”
His voice breaking once more, Barrick advised councillors that calling Erin house for the household and enterprise “is our dream.”
Barrick employed Lengthy Environmental Consultants, which made the case that trailer gross sales and repair may very well be allowed on prime agricultural land due to provisions within the city and Wellington County official plans.
City planning and growth director Jack Krubnik, evaluating the argument in opposition to the official plans and provincial coverage, disagreed with the guide’s interpretation.
On April 13 he really helpful council deny the everlasting zoning modification requested by Keith.
Krubnik additionally famous the momentary land-use exception was initially granted in 2020 based mostly on the idea that it could bide Barrick time to seek for a “comparable, non-agricultural property on a significant street” inside Erin.
Councillors mentioned they have been torn between siding with the foundations and supporting a profitable, native enterprise by not booting it from the property.
Councillor John Brennan mentioned planners should play by the foundations, however council has leeway to do issues otherwise.
On the time, councillor Jamie Cheyne mentioned, “My sympathy hat reaches out to you.”
“I believe, sadly, the authorized facet of that is weighing heavier than my [sympathy].”
The steadiness would shift on Could 11, when Cheyne, together with different councillors, voted 3-1 in opposition to Krubnik’s suggestion and in favour of permitting the Barrick to make use of the land in accordance with particular situations.
Councillor Bridget Ryan, the only real dissenting vote, was steadfast in her opposition to permitting the continued use.
Instantly addressing Barrick at a earlier assembly, Ryan mentioned her choice wasn’t private.
“I used to be voted in to assist agri-tourism and I strongly assist holding onto our prime agricultural lands,” she advised him.
“I actually admire the place you’re in.”
On the Could 11 assembly, Ryan reiterated her considerations.
“It’s an agricultural property, and I’m very involved that we’re setting a precedent the place we now open ourselves to different creep onto zoning that doesn’t exist by our general masterplan,” she mentioned.
Councillors Cheyne, Brennan and Cathy Aylard spoke of a must bolster the native economic system and assist companies.
“The financial issues are there as a result of the truth that we don’t have business or industrial zoning wherever in Erin in the meanwhile,” Cheyne mentioned.
Employees have been directed by council to return with a bylaw to make the modification official, permitting Keith’s Trailer Gross sales to completely use the land for trailer gross sales and repair, propane trade, and for a portion of the land for use for a storm water retention pond.