Council has denied the permanent rezoning of Angelstone Farms Inc. at the Dec. 15 council meeting.
“Angelstone wants a permanent zoning for the operation, the Gilberts want us to refuse their application and I’m quite sure council would like to see this application finally behind you,” said Wellington County planner Gary Cousins.
“I can guarantee you that none of you will be happy with my report tonight.”
Cousins presented five recommendations to council regarding Angelstone, which hosts large international showjumping events:
– that the permanent zoning requested by Angelstone not be approved;
– that another one-year temporary use bylaw be approved specifically for five events covering 25 days;
– that the town only approve major event permits for the two June events and consider the three August permits only after being satisfied that the impacts of the June events, particularly related to noise, was reasonable;
– that town staff work with Angelstone to determine how best to monitor the June events; and
– that no further temporary use bylaws be approved and permanent zoning be considered based on the results of 2016 season.
Cousins said Angelstone made significant improvement to its operation relating to road access, drainage and operating within its site plans.
He added Angelstone has made significant improvements “to the amplified sound resulting in many neighbours no longer expressing concerns. However, the town monitoring program at Angelstone continued to show noise, mainly from announcements, was a problem for the Gilberts.”
To answer the issue about use, Cousins said he firmly believes Angelstone is agricultural.
“It may not be people’s traditional idea of agriculture … but the raising of horses is clearly allowed in the provincial policy as is value-added activities related to that,” he said.
He also added the entertainment elements of the property are not precluded in agriculture events.
“Think back on fall fairs, plowing matches, horse races and more recently events like wine-tasting, farmer markets, bakeries and farm vacations which have all become part of the landscape in agriculture (in) Ontario,” he said.
Cousins told council he believes the facility is used primarily for training rather than hosting the events.
The planner also said regardless of council’s decision this matter will end up at an Ontairo Municipal Board hearing.
Council approved a temporary zoning bylaw to the Angelstone property for five events over 25 days in 2016.