Niverville Town Council held a public hearing at Tuesday morning's bi-monthly meeting for a variance request from Pavel and Victoria Petrenko.

The couple requested several variances to a building and property they are hoping to move their auto-electric business into. "Check Engine" is currently located at 349 Bronstone Drive, and the Petrenko's would like to renovate the older building at the intersection of Heritage Trail and Main Street, Niverville to suit their needs.

During the Public Hearing, councilors read two letters in reaction to the variance requests. One from the disgruntled building owner, another from a concerned tenant of Unit A of #9 Heritage Trail.

After some discussion CAO, Eric King, inquired whether council was ready to make a decision before finding out whether the building would pass fire inspection, or would council consider tabling the variance request until the building would be considered safe to house another business. 

Councilor Nathan Dueck made a motion to simplify the variance requests. Mayor Myron Dyck continued getting clarification on several of the concerns, such as: 

The request to permit only one entrance on and off the property, instead of the required two.  

The request for two signs on the building. One on the east side (the front) and one on the back, facing west, instead of one.  

The request for less parking stalls than required. 11 stalls instead of 15.  

The request for a narrower parking lot, which would mean less room for vehicles to pass each other on the parking lot.  

There was also the concern that #9 Heritage Trail was an older building and what kind of fire hazards might exist.

Then there was a concern that the auto-repair shop would use water to wash the garage floor. Water which would go down the drain and potentially create environmental issues. Or the water could possibly affect the adjoining businesses wall. 

And concerns about where the oil will be stored, what would happen in case of oil spills and disposal of used oil.  

The Petrenko's responded to the concerns, saying that since they would be doing mostly automotive electrical repairs, suspension and engine repairs, there would be no oil-changes and no washing of vehicles inside the garage, thus no spilled oil or water used inside the garage.

They also noted that their current garage was very clean and invited council to stop by anytime and check it out.  

After 40 minutes of discussion and clarification, including the public hearing, councilors unanimously moved to table the variance request for two weeks, until after an Environmental and Fire Code inspection could be done of the building at #9 Heritage Trail, Niverville.

#9 Heritage Trail, Niverville#9 Heritage Trail, Niverville 

 Mayor Myron Dyck spoke after the meeting and summed up the Public Hearing.  

“We have a business that is wanting to enter into one of the older buildings in the community. The Public Hearing wasn't so much about the business going there, but about the building and what are we dealing with from an environmental perspective, and what we are dealing from a Fire Protection perspective.” 

Dyck continues, “And so, council wasn't sure on the environmental side, what the standards are that they may need to apply for such a building. And so, the motion was tabled to give council and staff the opportunity to see what standards we should apply, or if there aren’t standards in place, to make sure we're not doing undue things to the owner on that building.” 

Dyck says, for the next two-week council will verify from an environmental standpoint that the building is safe to occupy.  

“So, if there are standards that are in place, does the building meet those standards? Yes or no. And if there are no standards in place, then what does council wish to do as far as placing a condition on this variance or not?” 

When asked what the Petrenko’s should in the meantime, Dyck replied, 

“Wait. This is something that council needs to decide on. And again, when we're dealing with older buildings, we just want to make sure that the work that will be going into that building is adequate and up to the codes required by Fire and Safety as well as environmental standards.”  

The next Niverville Town council meeting is on Tuesday, November 21 at 7pm at the Niverville CRRC. The meeting is open to the public.


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