Brockton changes bylaw to permit convenience stores at gas stations

·2 min read

BROCKTON – Council passed what was termed a municipally initiated “houskeeping” amendment to its zoning bylaw, to afford greater flexibility for retail uses under the definition of “automobile gas bar.”

Until now, Brockton’s bylaw has not permitted the type of gas bar-convenience store operations that have proven popular in other communities.

According to the planning report presented to council July 12 by planner Monica Walker-Bolton, the amendment “adds a subsidiary convenience store as a permitted use wherever an automobile gas bar is permitted” in Brockton.

The report stated that the amendment addresses “the evolving nature (of) fuel retail and will make the municipality more competitive with other jurisdictions that already permit this use.”

The amendment also contains provisions for approval of driveway entrances.

In reference to the gas station clause in the amendment, and a comment from Coun. James Lang about timelines, Mayor Chris Peabody said that the amendment does address two specific properties – Mel’s Diner, and also 2 Ontario Rd.

“We do need the county to sign off on some things … to get some enhanced gas stations at either end of town,” said Peabody.

Coun. Steve Adams asked why the bylaw specified a maximum of eight pumps. The county planner noted the amendment is “only a very small tweak to the bylaw” and said the only change was “a convenience store was plonked in.” She noted that if an application came in asking for more than eight, the matter could be addressed with a minor variance.

Adams also asked about electric vehicle chargers as the transitioning to electric takes place. Walker-Bolton said the matter was not addressed in the bylaw amendment. She added that the county is looking at electric; it’s something to think about for the future.

Council passed the bylaw on the amendment later in the meeting.

Peabody further commented on the 2 Ontario Rd. project, saying that the owner has some plans to develop other parts of the property. He said, “One thing I’d like to see there is an LCBO … I would like to see some support from council for a new LCBO downtown … Port Elgin is getting a big, brand-new LCBO, and Hanover has one. I think Brockton should be pushing for equal treatment by the province.”

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times

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