Wawa Council Approves Minor Variance to Allow For New Kingdom Hall

Wawa Municipal Council's approved an exception to municipal zoning rules for a new Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.

As the new hall would be larger, Council was asked - through its Committee of Adjustment, which is made up of the members of Council - to approve a minor variance, allowing the building to come within 2.8 metres of the rear of the property, instead of the 8 metre setback mandated under the current zoning by-law.

The application also asked for an exception from the required off-street parking spaces - the zoning by-law requires 33 for an institutional building of that size, though the church only has room for 11.

When asked about the request, Chief Building Official Kevin Sabourin explained the exception simply asks that the church be allowed to maintain the number of spaces it currently has for that property - partly because the existing situation predates the current zoning by-law - with Mayor Ron Rody noting there are other churches in the community without dedicated parking.

Before Council voted, the proponents stated they plan to "enhance" the property and make it "nice" as part of this work.

Though Sabourin noted some questions were raised verbally about the proposal, he stated there were no written submissions objecting nor were there any requests for information, leading Council to agree to the proposal, though a waiting period is mandated to allow for any objections.