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Carstairs industrial district food processing changes approved

Bylaw amendment adds food processing and packaging as discretionary use in industrial districts

CARSTAIRS — Town council has approved a land use bylaw amendment that adds food processing and packaging to the discretionary use in industrial districts in the municipality.

The move came by way of motion following a seven-minute public hearing held prior to the Jan. 25 regularly scheduled council meeting. During the public hearing, Becky Soby with Urban Systems outlined the proposed amendments.

In the amendment, food processing and packaging is now defined as a “building or part of a building, other than an eating establishment, food caterer or speciality food store, in which agricultural products are prepared, processed, preserved, packaged, graded or stored for eventual human consumption and includes services such as a flour mill, a bakery production facility, an egg grading station, but does no include abattoir or any premises used for the slaughtering of animals or the building of blood, tripe or bones.”

These food processing and packaging sites are “intended to primarily use agricultural products that are produced on site and shall have minimal off-site impacts such as noise, odour, surface or groundwater pollutants, earthborn vibration, heat or high brightness light sources.”

Industrial districts provide for a “range of light industrial uses engaged in manufacturing, assembling and service activities, which may require an outside storage component.” Current discretionary uses include auction marts, automobile storage and repair services.

A second amendment added speciality food store to the discretionary uses in all commercial districts.

In the amendment, speciality food store is now defined as a “use, building or part of a building that specialized in a specific type or class of food production, processing or packaging such as a butcher shop, delicatessen, bakery, fish monger, and similar foods, and where live animals are not involved in the processing of the food. The food products associated with the use may be sold on the premises.”

The food processing and packaging use is to accommodate businesses whose operations are intended to primarily use agricultural products that are produced on site and shall have minimal off-site impacts within the industrial districts, council heard.

Those businesses can include meat processing and packaging, general food production, including packaging and processing, and flour mills. 

Council passed third reading of the proposed changes following first and second reading in December.

During the Jan. 25 council meeting, councillors also passed motions transferring funds to reserve accounts, including $175,000 to sanitary reserve, $150,000 to water reserve, and $124,412 to Main Street Project reserve.

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