Scotts seeks boundary adjustment in Delhi
Scotts Canada plant on Highway 59 in Delhi. JACOB ROBINSON/Simcoe Reformer
Norfolk council will be asked this week to consider a land swap in Delhi to allow a local business to expand.
Scotts Canada on Highway 59 would like to incorporate 10 acres of farmland into its operation. The addition is needed to accommodate truck traffic and to create space for on-site storage of products.
For that to happen, Scotts needs to rezone the land industrial.
Scotts Canada is a manufacturer and distributor of lawn and garden products. This includes potting soil, top soil, fertilizer and other horticultural products.
Scotts’ plan is complicated by the fact that it needs an expansion of the urban boundary in Delhi. The province has cracked down on these in recent years as a means of controlling urban sprawl.
Queen’s Park will not consider expansions of urban areas unless municipalities have demonstrated that all opportunities for infilling and intensification have been exhausted.
Queen’s Park has also become quite protective of agricultural land. In the case of Scotts, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs has told Norfolk it should consider retiring industrial land elsewhere in the county to compensate for the creation of 10 new acres in Delhi.
“This expansion area is to be used for outside storage and to facilitate loading and unloading of transport trucks as a building addition is planned for the existing Scotts land,” Mat Vaughan, a senior planner with Norfolk County, says in a report that Norfolk council will consider Tuesday night.
“Currently, transport trucks often park along Highway 59 as they wait their turn of loading or unloading. Also, Scotts currently stores finished products elsewhere in the Delhi area. The expansion will allow for a more efficient operation of the industrial plant.”
In its report, Norfolk’s planning department strongly suggests that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs will block Scotts’ application unless the county retires industrial land in another location.
A further complication is the fact that rezoning 10 acres of farmland to industrial will leave a remnant parcel of farmland less than 100 acres in area. This parcel would need an exemption because Norfolk’s Official Plan defines a viable farm as a parcel 100 acres in size or larger.
Norfolk council will consider several Planning Act applications at its final meeting of 2017 Tuesday at Governor Simcoe Square. This portion of the agenda kicks off at 5 p.m. with several reports file under the Drainage Act. The public is welcome to attend.