A proposed gas station to be constructed next to the Tim Hortons in Haliburton has been denied by council. FILE PHOTO

Gas station proposal on County Road 21 denied 

By Angelica Ingram

Jan. 24 2017

A proposed gas bar to be situated next to the Haliburton Tim Hortons will not become a reality after all following council’s rejection of a zoning bylaw amendment at their Jan. 23 meeting.

Councillors voted unanimously to deny the zoning amendment which would have changed the property owned by Jerry Walker from suburban residential to highway commercial. At their Jan. 9 meeting Dysart’s planning committee recommended the zoning change not be approved.

Representing Sunray Developments Leo Palozzi said the drawings for the proposed gas station have been changed since he was last at council and that the developers have shifted the building.

Director of planning Patricia Martin told council she still had issues with the proposal.

“This lot is just too small for the proposed use” she said. “Not every commercial use is appropriate.”

Martin said the site plan is not meeting zoning requirements such as a vegetation buffer between the neighbouring property minimum street setbacks and parking requirements.

“Other commercial uses would be more appropriate” said Martin.

Councillor Dennis Casey asked if there was still an issue with the air pump being blocked by cars in the parking spaces as was outlined in Martin’s report to council.

“Yes but we can relocate it” said Palozzi.

“Why didn’t you?” asked Casey. “Why didn’t you come here with all of Pat’s concerns addressed?”

Palozzi said the air pump issue was a minor issue that could be resolved however not all of the zoning requirements could be met.

“We can’t comply with all the zoning requirements” said Palozzi. “If we could we would.”

Palozzi said it was a matter of functionality for the gas station and was asking for relief on some of the zoning requirements.

“We have built gas stations on parcels smaller than this” he said.

Palozzi said that not much parking would be needed at the site and that the zoning wasn’t envisioned for this type of use.

“The zoning regulations need to be modified” he said.

Casey said he was disappointed more effort hadn’t been made to meet the requirements.

Other councillors also had issues with the proposal.

Deputy-reeve Andrea Roberts said council had not received any positive comments regarding the project.

Roberts said it would not be good land use planning to permit the proposal and was concerned about issues such as lighting fumes traffic and the vegetation buffer.

“I am all in favour of commercial development but this is a cookie cutter approach” said Reeve Murray Fearrey. “I have not had one person say to me this lot is suitable for this use.”

Palozzi said in urban settings gas stations are in residential areas.

Councillor Walt McKechnie was concerned with the amount of congestion the business would bring to that area of County Road 21.

“We’re not a destination. We’re looking to pick up pass-by traffic” said Palozzi.

Fearrey said council approved the Tim Hortons because there was a demand but that there wasn’t a councillor at the table who hasn’t received a complaint about it.

“This is not a good fit” he said in regards to the gas station. “You’re not going to get support from councillors.”