A vacant industrial site west of Elmira could be home to an established farm-equipment manufacturer under a plan discussed in a public planning session at Tuesday night’s meeting of Woolwich council.
Tube-Line Manufacturing, currently located near Wallenstein in Wellesley Township, is looking for room to expand. The 18-acre site at 6455 Reid Woods Dr., already home to three industrial buildings, fits the bill, planner Sam Head told councillors.
The company is running out of room at its current location. The move to Woolwich would bring 35 jobs, with the possibility of more due to expansion. Tube-Line makes bale-wrappers and loaders for farm use.
The land is currently zoned agricultural with a site-specific provision to allow for the previous business, Elmira Wood Products. A zone change is needed to accommodate the proposed new use, explained director of engineering and planning Dan Kennaley.
Prior to the wood-processing company, the site was home to an egg-grading operation.
Allowing Tube-Line to relocate there would bring the site back to its farm-related roots, said Head, a planner with Kitchener-based Dryden, Smith and Head.
Because most of the site is covered with buildings, parking lots and drives, it can’t be used as farmland. In fact, it hasn’t been farmed in decades, he added.
“This is zoned as prime agricultural land, but it’s not agricultural in any way.”
Vacant for about two years, the site’s previous use was not farm-related. Under the proposed new zoning, Tube-Line would be permitted to manufacture bale-wrappers, front-end loaders and miscellaneous farm equipment, to sell associated parts and to repair the equipment they make on site.
The sale of the land to Tube-Line is conditional on obtaining the necessary zone change.
No one spoke against the proposal at Tuesday’s public meeting, but the township received one letter from a neighbour concerned about noise from forklifts.
Head noted loading would be done at the rear of the building, away from neighbours. Renovations to the existing structures would include soundproofing. As well, where the wood-processing business saw 15 trucks a day accessing the site, the new use would require only five.
The May 24 meeting was for information only – no decisions will be made until planning staff have reviewed the application and report back to council at a later date.