OP review causes uncertainty for local garage

 In News

The proprietors of a local auto repair facility are looking for assurance that a review of Clearview’s Official Plan will not jeopardize their business.
Matt Playne and Margie Riddell operate Autosolve at their Edward Street East property, which is zoned industrial and allows for motor vehicle repair garages.
Riddell said they bought the property in 2013 and have been in business for over a year. Their home is on an adjacent lot and the residential use is grandfathered. She said she is wondering if the zoning would be protected if there is a change in the Official Plan.
They were alerted to the OP review after a complaint to the bylaw department about trees being cleared. It was actually the neighbouring property that was being cleared but the process set off alarm bells when they learned there was a possibility the area could be designated residential.
Playne said he received a letter from Clearview staff saying, “to legally establish the use you must successfully obtain approval to operate without municipal water and sewer, site plan approval, and a building permit from the municipality.
Playne said he had planned to do that when the time comes to expand the garage but he is not ready yet. He was surprised by the letter because the garage has been an existing use in an established industrial zone.
The township is embarking on the creation of a new Official Plan, which was created in 2001. The first steps in engaging the public have taken the form of an online survey, and the first of several public meetings was held at council chambers on Nov. 4.
The province defines land use planning is defined as, “A framework to set goals about community development and change, keeping important social, economic and environmental concerns in mind. It balances the interests of individual property owners with the wider interests and objectives of the whole community. Good planning leads to orderly change and the efficient provision of services.”
The Official Plan manages population and job growth, future land use, development patterns, infrastructure, transportation, community facilities, and environmental and natural heritage.
The review is being done with consultants GSP Group. Senior planner Steve Wever said the Official Plan aims to create a vision for the next 20 years, and is expected to be done by fall of 2020.
Wever said they are still in the visioning stage, with a draft Official Plan expected to be ready for public input by spring and summer.
Eight other people made comments at the public meeting with regard to specific properties and big picture planning issues, such as transportation, climate change factors, and recreation opportunities.
The Echo wasn’t able to connect with Clearview staff prior to presstime.

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