Acting as committee of adjustment, Wellesley council backs farm variance

Wellesley council put their new duties as the township’s committee of adjustment to use for the first time since taking over the roles from citizen appointees earlier this year.

On Tuesday night in council chambers, Edwin Bauman of Bauman Beef Inc. in Wallenstein heard that his application for a minor variance at his Highway 86 and Herrgott Road livestock farm was approved.

Bauman sought a 23-metre variance from the nearest Type B land use, for construction and renovation at his livestock operation to make improvements and in some places, rebuild. A township staff report summarized the project.

“The farm currently contains a pig barn and a structure for open manure storage as part of its livestock operation. The applicant wishes to convert the existing barn into manure storage for beef cattle, add a barn addition for beef cattle, and add a roof to the existing open manure storage,” it read.

Bauman told councillors that the construction will be better for the environment and give him better control over farm runoff.

“There is one building that is going to be taken away, the foundation and things. In the open yards, we want to close them, so we are not going to have more livestock, just take some of the buildings away and have them all under roof than out and open yards,” Bauman said. “The pig barn will be converted to manure storage and under roof. Right now, there is a lot of open yard and there is a lot of runoff going towards 86. It’s hard to keep the run off from going down there.”

Mayor Joe Nowak wanted a bit of clarification on the plans.

“You mentioned that there is runoff right now, and I am assuming that runoff would go down to the creek and in the river, so what you are doing is actually going to be a tremendous improvement” he said. “That is good for the environment, isn’t it?”

Bauman confirmed and said he has wanted to make the changes for a while now.

“It has been on my mind for years, and the buildings are at the stage that they are going to have to come down anyways. We want to fix all of that now,” he said.

The project will also reduce the animal and manure smells coming from the livestock farm.

The committee of adjustment voted to allow Bauman the 23-metre variance.

Back in March, council passed a motion giving councillors the responsibility of reviewing and making decisions on minor variances, property severances, right of ways and easements. The decision was met with opposition from former committee of adjustment members, who voiced their distaste for the motion at the Mar. 14 council meeting.

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