Further Consideration Needed for Fireworks Storage Property in Essex 

Further discussion will be needed on a zoning decision for a property owner storing fireworks on farmland in Essex.

According to a report presented to council, fireworks are being stored amongst homes and farmland in 26 shipping-containers on 6th Concession near the intersection with Johnson Rd., and they have been for years. A zoning request for a 15,000-sq.ft. barn to store the explosives stirred public opinion at a special meeting of council Monday night.

Ward 3 Councillor Steven Bjorkman says the safety risk was only one of several concerns brought forward at the meeting.

"Residents were disappointed with how the proponent has been taking care of the property with excess storage containers that were on it," he says.

Bjorkman says a bylaw prohibiting no more than two shipping-containers on farmland was imposed two-years-ago, but the containers pre-date that change.

"One of the questions that we've asked administration is to check on a grandfathering clause. There's been a bylaw established but did we make it grandfathered in so if somebody was already above the two container limit, is that legal? We'll learn that in two weeks," he says. "It doesn't change what they want to store, but it does change how those things got there, when they got there, and when they were approved to be there."

Administration will come back to council with an updated report at the next regular council meeting on April 15.

The property owners declined comment following Monday night's meeting.