By Angelica Ingram
Published Aug. 23 2016
An application for a gas station and convenience store to be constructed next to the Tim Hortons in Haliburton is currently in the works.
A presentation made by Leo Palozzi of Sunray Developments at the Aug. 22 meeting of Dysart et al council outlined plans for a new development on County Road 21.
The targeted property is located next to the Tim Hortons restaurant just east of Nimigon Lane.
Currently it is owned by Jerry Walker with the company planning to purchase it from him said Palozzi.
The company would like to construct a gas station and convenience store on the site which they feel is a good fit with Tim Hortons he said.
An application for a zoning bylaw amendment has been submitted according to municipal planning director Patricia Martin however it is not complete.
According to her staff report to council the application still requires an archaeological assessment and a proposed strategy for consulting with the public.
“We took some time to make sure we had a comprehensive application” said Palozzi. “We are fully committed to this site.”
Palozzi said he understood the property would need to be rezoned to allow the development however in his opinion the official plan is clear in permitting this type of use. Reeve Murray Fearrey said this is the first time council has heard the proposal. Palozzi said the intent is to access the property from Nimigon Lane and upgrades to that road will be covered by them.
Councillors expressed concerns about the proposal including the traffic entering and exiting noise and the lighting.
“Gas bars are lit up like a Christmas tree” said Deputy-reeve Andrea Roberts adding the elevation of the property would add to the problem. “It’s going to be lit up at 3 a.m. … I don’t think that’s desirable at all.”
Other councillors agreed and Roberts added the property was very tight which would make it difficult for trucks to turn.
Councillor Walt McKechnie agreed saying he couldn’t imagine trucks getting in and out of the property.
Councillor Susan Norcross raised the issue of traffic from neighbouring property Whispering Pines a housing complex and how traffic coming out of Tim Hortons can already get congested with cars going into the next development.
“We’ve done the engineering plans” said Palozzi. “We’re investing millions of dollars into this site and we don’t take that lightly.”
He added that the lighting could be controlled. “We can’t eliminate it obviously.”
Palozzi said he would like to see the zoning bylaw amendment application proceed which would entail a public consultation process. Martin said there are two components missing that are required for the application to move forward. In her staff report Martin wrote that staff have visited the site and they have reservations with this file.
Palozzi asked how best to conduct enhanced public consultation to which councillors suggested placing an ad in the paper or visiting neighbours one on one.
The developer stressed that the application conformed to the official plan and that they were trying to do the right thing.