Norfolk council was to tend to a house-keeping matter at its July 7 meeting of the county’s public hearings committee.
As it happens, the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit property on Gilbertson Drive in Simcoe does not conform with Norfolk’s official plan or zoning bylaw.
The area in question is designated as “protected industrial land” in the county’s official plan. As such, office space is not a listed permitted use in this area. Tuesday’s application – if approved – would change that.
Secondly, a “special provision” in the county’s zoning bylaw caps the allowable floor area for government offices at 1,913 square metres. The municipal offices at 12 Gilbertson Drive – site of the health unit and Norfolk GIS mapping services – have a total floor area of 3,273 square metres.
“An amendment is required because the useable floor area of the existing buildings exceeds this permitted use,” Norfolk planner Fabian Serra says in his report.
Meanwhile, the north part of the health unit complex is occupied by the industrial company Murpac. The industrial portion has a floor area of 2,508 square metres. The entire property sits on a lot covering 4.7 acres.
The official plan and zoning amendments are expected to pass because the health unit and Murpac are long-time tenants of the property. As such, Serra says they qualify as “a legal non-conforming use.” The recommended amendments would bring them fully into compliance with Norfolk’s planning documents.
The property is owned by three private individuals. The health unit and Murpac have been their long-time tenants. Norfolk County is sponsor of the application, with IBI Group of Hamilton serving as the municipality’s independent planning consultant.