Wallace Street rezoning request heads to second public hearing

A businessman's request to rezone a parcel of land at the end of Wallace Street heads back to Woodstock's planning advisory committee (PAC) this month, with a public hearing set for noon, Monday, March 20, at Woodstock town hall council chambers.

A release issued by the town explained the PAC will consider the rezoning application to allow for the operation of a retail and associated warehouse use at Wallace Street (no civic number), also known as Parcel Identification Number (PID) 10124394.

The town explained the applicant wants the parcel, zoned Rural Resource in the town's Zoning By-law, rezoned to general commercial.

Cover-Tech tarp business owner Jason Cox approached the town last year requesting the rezoning, with plans to locate his business there. He explained the purchase of the 22-acre parcel of land hinged upon zoning approval.

PAC recommended the rezoning, but council opted to delay approval following a public hearing.

Woodstock CAO Andrew Garnett said the council at the time believed it lacked all the necessary information to make a final decision.

He explained homeowners on Wallace Street raised concerns late in the process, and council believed staff should further study the long-term impact.

"We felt it best to start the whole process again," Garnett explained.

During the discussion of the rezoning request in September, former Mayor Art Slipp and the then-council raised several issues which needed further study.

Concerns included traffic along Wallace Street, a short, winding, dead-end, partly paved street leading to the Calvary Church.

The land in question is part of undeveloped land stretching along the east side of the Trans Canada Highway, from the end of Wallace Street to the Yogi Bear Campground on Beardsley Road.

At the time, Slipp said staff should study whether the town's municipal plan mentioned this stretch of land, noting that it had never been discussed to his knowledge.

"There's going to have to be at some point some discussion about infrastructure and street development to service all of those properties," Slipp said.

The town's public hearing notice strongly encouraged anyone wishing to participate in the PAC meeting or make a written or verbal presentation in support of or opposition to the proposed rezoning to contact town staff before the PAC meeting.

If unable to attend the meeting, a member of the public can send a written submission with comments and concerns, including their name and address, to the town clerk by noon on Friday, March 17.

Written submissions are accepted via email at crystal@town.woodstock.nb.ca.

The town statement noted that the Community Planning ACT requires the planning process to remain open, accessible and transparent. All written submissions, documents, correspondence, emails, or other communications, including your name and address, form part of the public record.

The submission of any information provides consent to use and disclose the information.

Anyone with questions regarding collecting, using, and disclosing this personal information should direct them to the Chief Administrative Officer at 506-325-4600.

Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun