PUSLINCH – Aberfoyle residents will have to wait a little while longer to see what’s going to happen with a proposed trucking headquarters as council has deferred a decision on the application.
The company seeking to set up shop in Aberfoyle requested the deferral to tidy up some "internal legal matters."
A security guard was posted at the door Wednesday morning as locals packed the room at a Puslinch council meeting, eager to hear council’s decision on the contentious application — one that staff is recommending council approves with holding provisions.
Wellington Motor Freight has applied to rezone 128 Brock Rd. S., a 15-acre property near Gilmour Road, which would permit a three-storey office building and warehouse with a large parking area of 21 loading spaces, 170 employee parking spots and 123 tractor and trailer parking spaces.
An agent for the applicant said at a past meeting the location is ideal for the company because of how close it is to the 401.
This has been met with pushback from Aberfoyle residents, particularly those from a nearby Meadows of Aberfoyle subdivision, who came out in droves to two public meetings held on this application to argue this development wasn’t the right fit.
Among their concerns were this trucking headquarters as adding to the traffic problem in the area, noise, and removing the buffer zone between the industrial and residential area.
A planning report noted some changes have been made to the application such as revising the employee entrance on Gilmour Road to limit right turns out of the site towards the residential area and more noise walls as part of the proposal.
Puslinch staff are also recommending,as part of any approvals, some holding provisions which means no new use or buildings be built until at least the following is completed:
- Site plan approval
- Old well is decommissioned
- New well drilled
- Water flow meter is installed
- Drinking water threat report is submitted
- Liquid fuel handling/storage and spill response procedure is in place
However, MHBC planning consultant Pierre Chauvin came before council on behalf of the applicant requesting a deferral on the decision.
“We require a bit more time to work out some internal legal matters,” Chauvin said.
Mayor James Seeley said he doesn’t desire to have this continue to fester in the community but said the main concern would be to make a proper decision.
“If there’s something going on with the application that we’re not aware of … it’s in everyone’s interest to defer,” Seeley said, adding he would be in favour of calling a special meeting to deal with this when the applicant was ready.
The deferral was approved unanimously by council.
Cam McConnell, Meadows of Aberfoyle association president, said in an interview after this decision he considered the deferral to be a benefit to those opposed to the application.
“Now we have more time for petitions, research and preparation,” McConnel said. “This gives us more time to prepare our opposition.”
He also noted the staff recommendation doesn’t change anything for the association.
“We’re on the same course and have been from the very beginning, whatever obstacles we bump into we just keep our compasses on north,” McConnell said. “We never stop.”