Town grants minor variance for garage

MINTO – The Town of Minto has approved a minor variance to allow the construction of an oversized garage at a William Street property in Harriston.

The applicant, Corrine Bell, is proposing construction of a 616 square foot (22’ x 28’) detached garage on the property. A report from Minto planning technician Ashley Sawyer notes the applicant is seeking relief from the required rear yard setback and the maximum lot coverage of accessory structures.

The report states the minimum rear yard setback for an accessory structure must be one metre  from the rear lot line, however the applicant is proposing a setback of 0.3 metres. The town’s zoning bylaw also states lot coverage shall not exceed 10% of the lot for all accessory structures, whereas the applicant is proposing to increase the accessory coverage to 10.4%. Sawyer noted the proposed garage size is only 0.4 per cent over the limit and no concerns were expressed by Wellington County, Maitland Valley Conservation Authority or source water protection officials.

“Town staff have noted a few concerns but we feel they can be satisfactorily addressed as conditions of approval,” she stated. Conditions proposed by the town include creation of a grading and drainage plan and installation of eaves on the garage to help ensure that water is not shed onto the neighbour’s property.

Sawyer noted Jeff Newman, whose mother owns the neighbouring property, expressed concern that drainage issues already exist in the area and also about potential snow accumulation.

“The thing about this process is it will allow us to have a grading and drainage plan to the satisfaction of the town to address any previous issues as well as any potential (issues) from this,” said Sawyer. “Our staff does not anticipate that snow accumulation will be an issue on the property due to the location of the garage.”

“It’s fairly straightforward,” said Bob Harris, representing the applicant. “Back when the lot lines were made in the first place, if they were made parallel we wouldn’t be asking for this because it’s fine at the front of the garage … its only out at the back corner,” said Harris.

“I’ve downsized the garage and we will meet the drainage requirements,” noted Harris, stating the plan involved draining the lot to the street.

“He’s going to make it better for the whole area by putting in a drainage pipe to the street … I think that’s a good thing. I think we’ve answered Jeff’s questions and I think we should move ahead,” said deputy mayor Dave Turton.

Council approved the application, including the conditions regarding a drainage plan and installation of eaves.

North Wellington Community News