Saugeen Shores School bus issue may be drawing to a close

The contentious issue of the school bus storage in Saugeen Shores may be coming to an end.

The buses have been bumped from several locations, including the fenced yard at the Tibor Auto Mall to Country Rd. 25 (CAW Rd.) to the temporary storage at the Town’s Peel Street yard in Southampton, and now may have a new home that is more or less permanent.

First Student Limited is proposing to use the property associated with Willy’s Contracting for the use and storage of their¬†school bus fleet for the area. The property is approximately 8 hectares in size and only a¬†small portion of the property is required for the school bus parking. The existing use¬†associated with Willy‚Äôs Contracting will remain on the property.

Willy’s Contracting currently has a one-year contract with First Student to use the lands as bus parking but, should the Bluewater District School Board renew their contract with
First Student to provide bus services, it is likely that the lands will continue to be used for bus parking for the duration of that contract (likely 5 years).

The final parking areas will be established through Site Plan Control. The use is proposed to
be permitted over the entire property but the current area is the only space that can accommodate bus parking without requiring major capital upgrades (grading, gravel).

As the current contract for¬†parking is only for one year, Willy’s is unwilling to invest major capital in preparing¬†other areas for parking. However, should the contract be renewed for an additional five¬†years, a capital investment may then be possible.

In addition, the north-western property line is adjacent to a proposed residential designation
and, therefore, a buffer should be included.¬† A 10 metre vegetative buffer is to be included along the exterior boundary of the area designated ’employment’.¬† In the Draft Plan of Subdivision that has been approved for the adjacent lands, a six-metre buffer was included on the properties adjacent to the area.¬† Therefore, a four-metre buffer should be included on the subject lands to ensure the 10 metres are met and will be addressed through the Site Plan Control process.

Therefore, it is recommended that the Site Plan Control Agreement be implemented on a phased-in basis to address these contingencies.