Weyburn city council to amend Riverfront Market zoning

Weyburn city council has asked administration to add a “plumbing and heating shop” to the discretionary uses allowed in the Riverfront Market area alongside Highway 39, to enable a plumbing company to take over the former Home Hardware store location.

The application came from Skjerdal Enterprise to develop the former hardware store location for Vortex Plumbing and Heating, and Megadry Disaster Restoration.

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Development officer Janine Fletcher noted this area is zoned for the Riverfront Market, with permitted uses including art gallery, clinic, confectionary store, fast food outlet, museum, restaurant, retail store or studio, with discretionary uses including such uses as an auditorium, bakery shop, licensed restaurant, business office or a personal service establishment.

The intent is to complement the parkway theme as the area is next to the Souris River and the boardwalk, designed to attract travelers on Highway 39 to come into the city and visit.

The Official Community Plan states that, as part of the Tatagwa Parkway Master Plan, this area “along the Souris River between the Soo Line Historical Museum and Government Road is the ‘heart of urban Weyburn’. It has a prominent profile from the highway and is the first impression most visitors receive of Weyburn.”

Councillors spoke in favour of adding the plumbing shop designation to the list of discretionary uses, as the business owners would clean up and renovate the currently-empty building to operate their businesses from.

“I think it’s the right thing. I appreciate what the Skjerdals are doing here,” said Coun. Jeff Richards.

Mayor Marcel Roy said if they allow the business to relocate here, they need to deal with the use of the parking lot as motorists like to cut through it from First Avenue South.

Fletcher said this aspect can be dealt with once the zoning bylaw is amended and the business applies for a discretionary permit, and council can make this a condition of approval.

Coun. Richards said once it reaches the stage where the owners can apply to the city, then neighbours will be asked for their input. “What we’re doing is allowing for public consultation to begin,” he said.

“I completely agree with the Community Plan, but it may not be realistic at this time,” said Coun. Ryan Janke.

“I’d like to see this move forward. I think they would clean up the parking lot immensely and make it look appealing,” added Mayor Roy, pointing out the part that attracts people is on the north side of the highway, along with River Park to the east of this store location.

The administration will now prepare an amendment to the zoning bylaw to add this store designation to the list of discretionary uses, which will allow the application for development to be made to the city.

• In other council business, council gave third and final reading to the Fire and Protective Services bylaw.

One concern received via email in regard to the bylaw asked why the burning of pallet wood is not allowed by the Fire Department. Fire Chief Simon Almond noted that the department cannot be sure that pallet wood hasn’t been contaminated by anything, so the safest route is to prohibit the burning of this wood.

Mayor Roy expressed his disappointment that requiring residents to have visible numbers on their homes was not included in this bylaw. He supported passing the bylaw, but hoped it will be brought back later to address this issue.

Coun. Mel Van Betuw agreed this is a concern and that the public needs to be educated as to the importance of emergency services being able to see the house address, and suggested it could be dealt with separately from this bylaw at a later time.