Town of Wolfville
Wolfville town council decided recently to re-visit the prospect of home-based businesses in the single family home or R1 zone.
Three of the four councillors on hand expressed interest in the preparation of a new staff report on the issue, while Coun. Hugh Simpson maintained the opposition he voiced in 2008.
Chris Killacky, a professor of theology at the Acadia Divinity College, appeared before council on Jan. 2 seeking the rezoning of his R1 property on Skyway Drive to allow for a nano-brewery.
“My vision is to build a local nano brewery or even a microbrewery in Wolfville, making fine heritage ales that are healthy and brewed to the classic Bavarian purity standard,” he said.
Given his “great interest in brewing, using professional equipment and heritage recipes from England and Bavaria, over time friends and neighbours have suggested that I sell this beer at the market and to the Wolfville restaurants and pubs as a local and healthy alternative to imported beers,” Killacky said.
Killacky wants to use a basement workshop for a small home start up business. He noted that should it prove successful, “then I would move onto the next stage with local premises in Wolfville.”
He believes there “should be provision in Wolfville for us as residents to be able to develop small evolutionary businesses at home that will enable our town to grow and flourish.”
The town’s planning director, Chrystal Fuller, pointed out that businesses are completely prohibited in the R1 zone. Any change would require an amendment to the 2008 Municipal Planning Strategy, she stated.
Deputy Mayor David Mangle called the issue of home-based businesses a conundrum for Wolfville. He said he was willing to reconsider opening up the zone. Mercedes Brian and Dan Sparkman agreed.
Once prepared the fresh staff report will be submitted to the Community Development Committee.
“We want direction and discussion,” Mangle suggested.
Five years ago, the final version of the Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) and Land Use Bylaw (LUB) was approved 5-1 with Simpson opposing. At that time, 250 people signed a petition calling for the preservation of R1 zoning.
Much of the discussion in the months leading up to the vote focused on residential requirements and whether R1 zone could include personal offices or home occupations. Then Deputy Mayor Wrye said he believed the residents had spoken out against any change to R1, while councilors David Mangle and Bill Zimmerman wanted more leeway.
Speaking of deep divisions in the community provoked by the issue, Simpson wanted to make an amendment enshrining R1 zoning as “part of Wolfville’s brand.” He added that for a something of a retirement community, R1 is an attraction, however, the motion failed to win approval.
Wolfville considering home-based businesses in R1 zone