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OMB approves farm industry



Monday, May 7, 2012


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Posted 13 hours ago

The Ontario Municipal Board has ruled in favour of a farm based metal fabricating and welding shop in Southgate.

The proposal was opposed by Della Paquin and other residents because of truck traffic, noise and potential health hazards. They argued that the metal fabricating was an industrial use not permitted on agricultural lands.

Paquin and her family live on a 50-acre farm about five kilometres from the property of Jesse Martin who wants to expand his metal fabricating and welding business.

During a recent OMB hearing she argued that the proposed shop poses a hazard to health and well being of the community. She cited the example of two other small farm based fabricating businesses, one located about 700 feet from her family’s home. She said the noise from the trucks exacerbate her migraines and the heavy delivery trucks pose a danger to her children. She contended that 50% of the metal products made at the Martin shop are destined for non-agricultural use outside the area.

Southgate’s planner Denise Whaley testified that the Martin proposal is consistent with provincial policy statement and conforms to the Grey County Official Plan and the Southgate Official Plan as well as the township zoning bylaw.

Martin currently operates a metal fabrication and welding shop on his 99 acre farm on Concession 16 in Southgate. The shop occupies about 1,500 square feet in a 2,500 square foot on-site accessory building.

His evidence was that 50% of his business is farm related, making cattle gates and cattle feeding devices. He expects up to eight deliveries and pickups a week.

In his April 27 ruling, hearing officer C. Hefferon found that the potential adverse affects on Paquin is highly unlikely since her home is located five kilometres from the Martin farm. He also found that concerns raised by Paquin and others who testified focused more on two other operations near her home rather than the Martin proposal. And he found that the amount of truck traffic that Martin said would take place was not unreasonable, “for what is after all an agricultural area.”

Mayor Brian Milne’s only comment was that he was pleased with the OMB ruling — that it vindicates council’s decision to rezone the property.

Farm-based industries in Southgate have come under fire by residents who have argued they should locate in an industrial park.

Two more appeals have been made to the OMB for metal fabrication shops — one of them is located within the former hamlet of Proton Station.

Southgate resident Christine Gordon recently said she counted 11 applications for similar farm-based industries that have been approved by council in recent years and believes there are more.

“These are not farm-related and in many cases they are not by definition small scale,” Gordon said.


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