Herb farm reaches agreement in zoning bylaw battle

BARRY’S BAY – The owners of St. Francis Herb Farm will be moving forward with a plan to develop their land on Murray Park Street after a zoning amendment was passed by Madawaska Valley Township council.

The third and final reading of the zoning bylaw was presented for council’s consideration at the regular meeting on August 15. There, Brian Whitehead of JP2G Consultants attended as a delegation to represent Jane Murray, an abutting property owner on Murray Park Street.

At a previous public meeting, some members of the Murray family wanted further clarification on Paul and Caitlin Rivett-Carnac’s plans to develop their property. The owners of St. Francis Herb Farm want to erect two greenhouses as well as washing and drying sheds for the growing of herbs, which would be sold to their Combermere-based business.

Since their property falls under the suburban reserve, which was initiated in the event council wished to extend water and wastewater services to the street, the couple required a zoning amendment. However, objections from local property owners stalled the process. At the August 2 council meeting, council read the first and second readings of the bylaw only to allow for some more time for the two parties to discuss the plans and come to an agreement.

At the latest council meeting, Whitehead presented a settlement proposal on behalf of Jane Murray. He included some recommendations to the special provisions to be included in the zoning bylaw amendment including: limiting the site of two greenhouses with a maximum floor area of 540 square metres and the inclusion of a 50-metre setback from a suburban reserve, or properties zoned residential one or two.

It also would include this definition for a greenhouse: A building used for the growing of plants, shrubs, trees and similar vegetation including herbs to be processed by washing and drying, either before or after being transplanted outdoors on the same lot, for sale at wholesale.

Whitehead asked that council give serious consideration to approving the zoning bylaw with these modifications.

Get your August 17, 2016 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.