By Ken Partridge
Maybe the third time will be the charm. SNF GP Inc.’s second attempt to rezone its property at 60 Simmonds Dr. from I-2 general industrial to I-4 salvage yard was voted down by East Community Council and the company is now preparing to appeal the decision to the Utility and Review Board (UARB).
The company originally applied to rezone its property back in 2009 as a prerequisite to installing a vehicle depollution centre. The new facility would use powerful vacuum systems to remove all fluids from a vehicle – including coolant, oil, gasoline, brake fluid, etc. – before removing the tires and crushing the vehicle for shipment to the company’s sister operation in Saint John, New Brunswick for shredding.
This second attempt differed from the first only in that this time around SNF hired Genivar to spearhead its application rather than handling the effort itself. It also had the backing of city staff, which recommended in favour of the rezoning.
However, three of four voting councillors – Lorelei Nicoll, Gloria McCluskey and Bill Karsten – all voted against the application, saying they didn’t believe a salvage yard in that area of Burnside was in keeping with the original intention of the Park’s development. Nicoll in particular pointed to the need to finish the functional plan for Burnside, which is intended to create clear development zones within the Park.
Councillor David Hensbee was the only one to vote in favour of the motion, saying he believed these types of vehicle recycling centres are the way of the future.
The defeat came as great relief to many current salvage yard operators who were in attendance and who spoke out against the application during the public hearing portion of the debate. They raised concerns the volumes SNF were saying they would be processing – 20 vehicles per day – were economically unsustainable and once the company had its rezoning, those volumes would creep up.
Their relief may be short-lived, though. Nathan Rogers, a project manager for Genivar and the spokesman at council for the rezoning effort, says SNF will “definitely” appeal council’s decision.
My feeling is that an appeal is necessary. We feel council went against planning policy and our case at the UARB is very strong,” Rogers says.