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Forced to move home-based business

A Heidelberg resident who’s been running a business from his home for the past two years will likely have to move in order to comply with Wellesley Township zoning regulations.

Richard Maass, who owns Peerless Turf Care, was at Wellesley council this week looking for advice after learning he’s been operating in violation of township bylaws since moving to Heidelberg in 2010.

“I misunderstood that I needed a permit in order to run my business out of the house. I looked at one page of your bylaw, which said you could have a home occupancy, but apparently there are second and third and fourth pages that go with it that have all kinds of stipulations,” he explained of his recently discovered noncompliance issue at 2752 Kressler Rd.

“Peerless Turf Care’s been around a long time. My company has been in the region for 25 years now we’ve never had a problem. We’ve occupied property on the outside of Waterloo. From Waterloo we moved to Kitchener … and moved out here in 2010,” he told council, adding that he has been an active member of the community and has often received compliments on his business.

“How do we comply with this? I’m asking for your guidance and what to do about this zoning compliance and home occupancy problem,” he said.

In response, Mayor Ross Kelterborn explained council wouldn’t get involved in the matter until after more input from both Maass and township staff.

“Were not here to make decisions. We’re here to hear your side of the story. You talk to staff and staff comes back to us with a report in regards to your request – either it’s permissible or it’s not permissible. A delegation is for you to come here if a decision has been made and you disagree with that decision and you want us to change it,” Kelterborn said.

“The report will come back to us and we either approve it or we don’t,” Kelterborn added.

Maass went on to explain that his business has always run out of residential properties, as buying a commercial property did not make sense for given the size of the operation. Still, if the business is moved to a more fitting location, he will also have to find a new place to live.

Sarah Peck of the township’s planning department informed council that Maass’ business cannot comply with regulations and must either relocate immediately or work out a date by which he can be in compliance by removing all aspects of the business from his residential property.

Maass said he will be able to adhere to the zoning bylaws by November 1 when the seasonal company winds down for the year, hoping that other options will be open to him by next spring.

“I will be in compliance Nov. 1. I’ll be moving the office off the site and everything else. Followed closely with me moving, probably, regrettably.”


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