SNF GP Inc. is taking another shot at getting approval to create an automobile recycling facility on its property. After suspending an earlier effort a couple years ago, the company has now enlisted fellow Burnside resident Genivar to assist with getting the property at 60 Simmonds Dr. rezoned from I-2 (General Industrial) to I-4 (Salvage).
If approved, the rezoning would allow the addition of a vehicle depollution system, which completely strips cars of any environmentally harmful materials and would then ship the rest of the vehicle to SNF's sister plants in Quebec for shredding. The new operation would continue to meet the 48-hour restriction of the current operation, so cars would only be onsite for two days before being shipped out.
Company officials also insists the new operation would have a maximum processing limit of 20 vehicles per day, have no impact on traffic flow in the area and wouldn't impinge on surrounding businesses.
SNF, a division of American Iron and Metal (AIM), currently operates a scrap metal yard on the Simmonds Drive property. The metals collection and transfer facility would stay in operation if the rezoning takes place.
The process to secure the rezoning started in late September with an online survey that was open to the public. The survey closed on October 1, with responses being used to prepare an updated evaluation for consideration by Harbour East Community Council. If council approves, a public hearing will follow to allow interested parties to find out more information and express their opinions, support or opposition.
The first attempt at rezoning certainly did meet with a lot of opposition, especially from local metal recyclers. Many of the attendees at the first public information session on this issue back then were openly skeptical of the company's claims. A large number of existing metal recyclers were in the audience and they all contended the automobile recycling project was a screen to secure the I-4 designation.
They scoffed at the idea SNF could turn a profit on a volume of just 20 cars per day, saying the company's real goal is to commence operation of a true salvage yard. The I-4 designation does allow for a property to be used as a traditional junkyard and once the rezoning is secured, any changes to the use of the site can be made "as of right" and no further agreements or applications are needed.
Several salvage yard operators, including Dartmouth Metals, Harbour City and Willys Salvage, pointed out they are already operating at less than full capacity and don't need another competitor taking away business.
Further details on SNF's latest rezoning attempt are available at www.halifax.ca/planning/Case17898Details.html or by calling Planning Services at 490-4472.