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Company’s expansion bid caught in planning limbo

A St. Clements business’ expansion plans are on hold while Wellesley Township and Waterloo Region planners determine how those changes fit into zoning regulations.

K& K Liquidation and Auction Ltd. want to expand onto a new property in order to solidify the operation’s place in the community, owner Kevin Statia told township councillors meeting Monday night.

Started six years ago at 1011 Industrial Cres., the business doubled in two years and is now looking to expand further onto a neighbouring property at 1420 Hutchinson Rd.

“We’re looking at the parcel of land because of the location in the community has been really good to support us and we want to stay here. We’re just looking for a little more space, a little more parking to expand,” said Statia.

But staff informed councillors that the Region of Waterloo has asked them to hold off a decision on amendments that would allow the project to go ahead.

The application for the property on Hutchinson Road requires a zoning bylaw amendment to allow the development of a retail, wholesale and auction business for consumer goods, explained junior planner Sarah Peck. The area in question is zoned ‘dry industrial,’ which does not permit retail use on the property.

One of the factors staff considered regarding the amendment of the property was lot coverage in an industrial area compared to the parking requirements of a retail property.

According to the township’s Official Plan, Peck went on to explain, commercial uses permitted in dry industrial areas do not include retail outlets that provide for day-to-day retail shopping needs of residents, as those are normally found in urban core. Such dry industrial areas also cannot be used as shopping centres.

“Township staff interpret the proposal of retail, wholesale and auction of consumer goods as described by the applicants to be consistent with this section of this Official Plan because the proposed use will not provide for the day-to-day needs of our residents for shopping,” Peck told councillors.

However, that assessment is still awaiting a decision on the part of the region, where staff is still looking at how the request fits in with the Regional Official Plan. As such, township staff asked councillors to defer the application until further comments were issued by the region. No deadline for a decision was indicated pending the determination of the research required.

“I feel the region is holding us up,” Coun. Paul Hergott said, receiving support from Coun. Jim Olender on the matter.

Mayor Ross Kelterborn agreed that council will not be taking a position pending further communication from the region before deciding on the changes.

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