Community rallies in support of mechanic
The proprietors of Autosolve on Edward Street in Creemore are heaving a sigh of relief after Clearview Township staff advised council that the current use of their property is legal.
Troubles began for Matt Playne and partner Margie Riddell when a staff report, created as part of an Official Plan review, suggested that the property be rezoned for residential purposes. According to Mara Burton, Clearview’s Director of Community Services, Playne was able to produce documentation of an amendment to the Creemore zoning bylaw which predates amalgamation. That amendment addressed the private servicing of the property without municipal water and sewers and allowed for industrial use. It was clear the intent at the time the property was purchased and when building permits were issued was that the building would be used for the purpose of servicing motor vehicles. Township staff has been satisfied that the current use is legal non-conforming, and no further action is indicated.
Council received many letters of support for Playne. Ward 5 Councillor Thom Paterson says we should be proud that community values came to the forefront with people anxious to support a local business and keep services available.
Deputy Mayor Barry Burton says the widely held perception that council was seeking to rezone the property and “boot Matt out,” was simply not correct. In fact, he says, council did not support the initial staff recommendation for rezoning, and instead was committed to finding a solution that worked.
Councillor Doug McKechnie echoed that there was a lot of misunderstanding from the public, adding that he appreciated all the input even if the tone was occasionally a bit harsh.