Metropolis workers suggest approval for non permanent farm on Guelph Innovation District property
City staff say proposed plans to allow crops to be temporarily grown on land slated for future development should go ahead.
According to a new report added to the agenda for the Jan. 12 meeting of the committee of adjustment, city staff are recommending approval be given to Fusion Homes’ pitch to grow cash crops on the 325-acre property that makes up what will one day become the Guelph Innovation District.
The developer is not being given carte blanche to farm on the property, however. With part of the property’s natural landscape to be preserved as part of future development, city staff are asking that Fusion submit information to the city that demonstrate how those lands would be protected should farming go ahead, and that no farming would take place inside those protected areas.
City staff are also putting a time limit on the temporary farm, recommending the change in use be available for a maximum of three years.
“The requested variance will ensure that the subject lands continue to be occupied by an active use, rather than sitting dormant while the development approvals process is underway,” the staff report adds.
“By actively farming the subject lands, activity on the site will be ongoing and natural surveillance will take place through ongoing use and activity.”
As was previously reported by the Mercury Tribune, cash crops including wheat, corn and beans would be grown on the property, with that food being used to produce cattle feed. No livestock would be on the property.
Fusion’s variance request will be heard at the Jan. 12 committee of adjustment meeting, scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. in council chambers at city hall. The meeting will also be streamed live online at guelph.ca/live.