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Plan to build warehouse has some Hanmer residents worried

While zoning says it's not allowed, business is a special case since it's operated there before there were planning laws

A Hanmer business operating in land zoned rural wants to build a 145 square-metre warehouse, a covered tent and an office trailer on their property, a plan that is raising concern among its neighbours.

Technically, zoning laws don't permit industrial uses on rural lands, but Ranger Wrecking and Salvage Inc., located on Bodson Drive, has been operating on the property since before the land use laws were established.

“The salvage/wrecking yard use was established on the subject lands in the early 1970s prior to any zoning being in effect on the property,” says a staff report headed to the Nov. 5 meeting of the planning committee.

In those sorts of cases, businesses are allowed to continue operating as a “legal non-conforming” businesses, grandfathering them into the new planning laws. Land use changes are to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The overall intent is to get rid of the non-conforming uses in the city, but existing businesses can continue to operate and even make major changes, as long as the changes conform to certain criteria.

They include not making the existing land-use conflicts worse; that the proposal won't negatively impact the area by adding more noise, fumes, traffic and related issues; and existing water and sewer services are adequate for the planned changes.

Departments consulted on the application report that the warehouse and other proposals won't change the impact the yard has on the area, and that traffic will be the same. There have been four complaints about the property in 2018, but only one related to the wrecking yard – the other three were about a film that was being shot in the area.

While staff recommend the application be approved, neighbours in the area aren't so sure. The city has received seven letters opposed to the plan.

“I can't say we understand the logic of expanding a wrecking yard in a residential area,” Dave and Dana Dumont wrote in their submission. “We all work hard for our homes to look good in hopes of one day being able to say to ourselves, look at what we have accomplished.

“But when the time comes to sell, retire and have financial freedom, who's going to want to purchase my home when they see across the street in a residential area a pile of crushed cars, car parts, tent shelters and outhouses?”

“As a taxpayer I ask how does this happen?” writes Hydro Road resident Nick Pellerin. “More upsetting is the possibility of the City of Sudbury approving the allowance for this huge development in our backyards, allowing more traffic, more noise, more wear on our infrastructure.”

The planning meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 5.


Darren MacDonald

About the Author: Darren MacDonald

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