Salvage yard allowed to expand

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A salvage yard northwest of High Prairie has changed land-use districts in the Big Lakes County land-use bylaw to allow the business to add some buildings.

At its regular meeting July 14, council adopted a land-use bylaw to redistrict NW-09-75-18-W5 to rural industrial [RI] district from agricultural [AG] district.

The application came from property owner Anthony Matula to redistrict the land, says Pat Olansky, director of planning and development.

Council adopted the bylaw after a public hearing during the meeting.

According to the land-use bylaw, a salvage yard is neither a permitted nor discretionary use under the agriculture district, Olansky says.

Matula is now allowed to add some buildings as he plans to expand his business on Highway 2 north of Triangle.

Matula has also submitted an application for a development permit to move in a 24 x 44-foot shop, a 24 x 26-foot building he plans to convert to a dwelling with a basement and an 8 x 40-foot sea can.

The shop and sea can will be used in conjunction with the existing business.

Council received a letter of opposition to amend the bylaw from Cordell Severson, who lives on neighbouring property.

“I do not think this land should be rezoned for the whims of a non-compliant landowner,” Sever- son says.

“It is agriculture land now and I believe it should remain that way.”

He further stated concerns that the business causes to the environment, a hazard along the highway and wrecked vehicles on the highway right-of-way.

Council also heard from Al Severson, the father of the letter writer, who lives on the same property.

He says the location along a highway is dangerous.

“I see it as a hazard while vehicles are driving by,” Severson says.

“I don’t see how it can go on.”

Reeve Ken Matthews advised Severson that the public hearing was dealing only with changing the land-use district.

CAO Jordan Panasiuk says the concerns expressed by neighbours will be presented when the Municipal Planning Commission discusses the development permit for the property.

Matula explained during the public hearing that the business has never caused any problems on the highway.

“There’s never been an incident,” Matula says.

“There’s never been an accident.”

He says the redistrict allows him to continue with future plans for the business.

“To get the buildings there, I need to redistrict, Matula says.

Matula says he is a licensed auto wrecker.

In accordance with Section 643(4) of the Municipal Government Act, a non-conforming use of part of a lot may not be extended or transferred in whole or in part to any other part of the lot and no additional buildings may be constructed on the lot while the non-conforming use continues, Olansky says.

Olansky says amending the bylaw would bring the property into compliance with the land-use bylaw and allow the owner to move additional buildings onto the site.

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