Skip to content

Council passes carwash zoning amendment

Councillor disappointed permits won’t be required
A rezoning amendment bylaw wanted by Chris Meints of Xtreme Reflections Auto Detailing was approved by the District of Houston council Feb. 6. (Houston Today photo)

Chris Meints is closer than ever to having his auto detailing business on 10th Street legitimized through a bylaw amendment.

His Xtreme Reflections business wasn’t allowed in the commercial zoning applicable to its location in the downtown area but Meints had been conducting business there thanks to a three-year temporary use permit which ran out last September.

Instead of asking for a renewal, Meints asked for an zoning amendment to add car washes to permitted businesses and council Feb. 6 held a public hearing to gauge the reaction of others to the proposal.

There were no speakers other than Meints himself and council subsequently gave third reading to the zoning amendment, setting the stage now for its adoption.

But council also had the opportunity after third reading to set conditions for Meints to continue operating, something advocated by District of Houston councillor Troy Reitsma.

“I would like to see all building permits obtained for the works that were already done,” he said of building modifications. “And all those works be inspected and signed off and that the grease and oil traps are inspected and signed off as functioning properly as well.”

“I want to make sure that with the carwash that this stuff isn’t getting put into the storm sewers for down the sewer drains.”

Councillor Tom Stringfellow seconded Reitsma’s motion but there was no debate. A subsequent vote resulted in a tie with Mayor Shane Brienen joining Stringfellow and Reitsma in favour but with councillors Tom Euverman, Rebecca Hougen and Lisa Mueller in opposition. A tie vote means a motion is defeated. Councillor Jonathan van Barneveld was absent from the meeting.

The motion’s defeat caused Reitsma to express his disappointment with his fellow councillors.

“I’m just disappointed that nobody wants to make sure that things are done properly in town,” he said. “We’re telling people that they can go ahead and do whatever they want to and not bother with building permits by asking for these to be done. So I’m very disappointed with this.”

The provincial transportation ministry must now sign off on the zoning amendment because the business is close to a highway. It will then be formally adopted by council.

About the Author: Rod Link

Read more