The City of Clarence-Rockland has mediated a solution between concerned homeowners and G&M Auto Sales on Ramage Rd along County Road 17.
In 2018, G&M purchased a lot across the street from the dealership and filed to rezone it from Rural Residential (RR) to Commercial (CU). Although Clarence-Rockland’s planning department recommended approval of the change, neighbouring residents were concerned there was no site plan and no watershed impact study done, and homeowners were afraid their property values would be impacted by having a car dealership in front of their homes.
G&M was granted a temporary permit to park surplus vehicles on the lot for three years and ordered to erect a fence between the lot and the neighbouring houses.
On August 7, 2021, council denied a request from G&M to rezone the lot as Rural-exception 5 (RU-5), citing residential concerns of visual impact and stormwater management. G&M appealed the decision with some changes to its plan, and council approved the revised request on November 1, 2021.
Now, further steps have been taken to resolve the situation. During its regular meeting on February 7, Clarence-Rockland council approved a resolution to change the zoning of the lot to Rural – Exception 5-holding (RU-5-h). This means that G&M Auto Sales will be permitted to use the lot to store vehicles and equipment related to the business, as long as there are no toxic chemicals, and to erect storage structures for that purpose. Structures can be no taller than six meters and they must be 30 meters away from the property line facing the residential area.
The holding provision will also be removed once a site plan has been approved by council.