Home-based businesses dominate MPC meeting agenda

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Slave Lake’s monthly Municipal Planning Commission meeting (Feb. 1) was busier than usual. It included five home-based business items, plus a couple of industrial business applications.

Starting with the industrial ones, the MPC decided against making a decision on an application for permission to run an asphalt plant, by a company in the northeast industrial area. Not that they are against it; the members just wanted more details on what’s proposed before they give it the nod.

The proposed location is in the appropriate zone. It was noted (for the second time in the past month or two) that a previous asphalt plant in the same general area had generated complaints about the smell.

Truck shop

The other industrial application was from a Wabasca-based company that wishes to open a truck repair and inspection shop on Caribou Trail in Slave Lake.

A question arose about how many other uses the site has. Answer; two. This would be a third.

At what point then, asked town councillor Brice Ferguson, do we make decisions about inappropriate density on a property? Parking is usually the trigger for that type of thing, he heard.

“We typically ask for a parking plan,” said Laurie Skrynyk, the town’s planning and development director.

The company is Wabasca Truck & Trailer Repair.

Canadian Tire

Canadian Tire had an application with the MPC for permission to install a couple of shipping containers, temporarily, for storage on its property. The MPC gave it a thumbs-up, on the condition the units be removed by May 30. Apparently the store is undergoing some renovations and needs extra storage space while it is happening.

New home-based

The MPC gave tentative approval to two new home-based business applications. The standard practice in these cases is to review them after six months. If the neighbours aren’t complaining, permanent approval is generally given at that point.

One is a sewing business, located at a residence on 8th St. SW. No issues for the MPC there.

The other is more complicated. The applicant resides in an apartment in the southeast part of town. The application was for two separate uses operating out of that location, which goes against the terms of the land-use bylaw. The members wrangled over that obstacle a bit, and finally settled for an amended motion approving one use but not the other.

Approved is something called ‘Bowen Therapy,’ which is a type of massage. The other business – mattress sales – is not approved for now. The applicant can appeal the decision. She can also apply for a change to the bylaw. Alternatively, she could find another site for storing the mattress, the MPC heard.

Six-month reviews

The board approved four home-based businesses for continued operation, following their six-month reviews. In each case, the report from the town’s P&D department was the same; no issues, because no complaints from the neighbours.

One is the Boreal Lash Parlour, located on 12 St. SE. Another is ‘SP Beauty,’ located on 1A Ave. SW. The third one approved is a construction contracting business on 5th Ave. NE and finally, ‘Garage Community Fitness,’ located on 10th Ave. SE got it’s go-ahead after six months of operating without annoying the neighbours.

The next MPC meeting is on Monday, March 1.

Canadian Tire is reorganizing and in need of extra storage space.

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