Walkerton’s former Energizer factory, which has remained vacant for more than three years, will soon be budding with business and local employment. That business is a licensed cannabis growing facility.
In October of 2020, Brockton council approved the rezoning for the former Energizer plant, located at 165 Kincardine Highway, in Walkerton.
A second planning report was presented for a second licensed cannabis growing operation, which would be in a new building to be constructed in the East Ridge Business Park.
There are portions of the East Ridge Business Park that are already zoned to permit licensed cannabis growing facilities; this proposal would add one additional site for that use.
The applicant proposes a cannabis micro-production facility in a new 564.3-square-metre building on Ontario Road, on the property adjacent to the hotel.
As with the other operation, the applicant would be required to go through the site plan control process, especially in regards to odour.
Asked when the growing facilities are expected to begin production, Brockton clerk Fiona Hamilton said the municipality does not have that information as of yet.
The former Energizer factory lands are currently occupied by a vacant 19,957-square-metre warehouse building, parking lots and wooded area. The site is approximately 8.58 hectares in size with approximately 207.26 metres of frontage on Kincardine Highway.
According to a planning report provided by the municipality, the subject proposal is in conformity with the County Official Plan as it proposes a new industrial use in Walkerton on a site that has existing municipal services.
The Walkerton Community Official Plan designates the subject lands Business Park 1. The Business Park designation was created to accommodate, among other uses, the needs of industrial uses.
The goals relating to the Business Park include the promotion of environmentally clean industry, to diversify the economic base and provide employment opportunities.
“Licensed (cannabis) growing facilities are new to the Municipality of Brockton and will diversify the economic base,” the planning report reads.
In this specific facility, the report adds, approximately 10 people will be employed.
In the Business Park 1 designation, the following uses are permitted: Retail Commercial, Business Park Commercial, Light Industrial and Complementary uses. Licensed (Cannabis)
Growing Facilities would fall within the Light Industrial use category.
Light Industrial uses are specifically intended to be contained within an enclosed, single purpose building. Their operation is not to be obnoxious, offensive or dangerous by reason of their presence, emission or production of odour, dust and noise among other things.
“The subject proposal will occupy a currently vacant industrial warehouse building,” the planning report reads. “The licensing process through the federal government controls many elements of the operation of these facilities including access security, monitoring and emissions so matters such as public safety, smell and dust should not be a concern. Also, because the operation must be carried out indoors, noise is also not expected to be an issue.”