Neighbours concerned about traffic from on-farm manufacturer in St. Clements

A St. Clements resident’s bid for an on-farm business met with opposition from neighbours at a public meeting Tuesday night in Wellesley council chambers.

Blue-Flash Manufacturing is seeking to add a welding and assembly shop to the permitted uses at an agriculturally zoned three-acre property at 4226 Boomer Line.

The plan is to build wood chippers.

The land is currently zoned as agricultural A1. However, in a housekeeping amendment last year, Wellesley added a second agricultural zone, A2, allowing for a shop on a farm property taking up less than two per cent of the total land area.

The property is currently home to a residential building and a horse barn. The amendment would allow for a workshop of 2,734 square feet, falling within the two per cent limit, with township planning staff supporting the request.

Adjacent property owners weren’t convinced about the plan’s merits, however.

Derek Rothledge shared his concerns regarding the possibility of additional truck traffic on Boomer Line, where he says there are already transport trucks parked on the side of the narrow dirt road.

Annette Bishop, another Boomer Line resident, talked about the dangers posed by the trucks.

Currently, the gravel road is rife with potholes and what was described as washboard terrain, creating issues with two-way traffic, along with the presence of horse-drawn buggy traffic and residents leaving their driveways.

While councillors raised questions about the traffic concerns, the applicant claimed the new shop wouldn’t add any extra truck traffic, as the business would be manufacturing just two to three wood chippers a week. The extra truck traffic was coming from a separate business, EMB Manufacturing. The operator of EMB currently doesn’t have enough room on his property for more than one transport truck to drop off equipment and material at one time, causing a backup down Boomer Line.

Given the township has no plans to pave or widen Boomer Line at that section, Mayor Joe Nowak requested that staff prepare a report looking at the truck traffic and any problems it might pose.

Councillors unanimously approved the amendment sought by Blue-Flash Manufacturing.

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