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Council staff recommends rezoning Schneider land to facilitate donation

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The Schneider family may be one step closer to finalizing an agreement to donate over 230 acres of land in Wilmot Township to the Rare Charitable Reserve.

At Monday night’s council meeting, staff will present a report recommending rezoning and bylaw changes to close the deal.

The Schneider family has been trying to donate the land at Wilmot Line and Carmel-Koch Road, on the border of Waterloo, since 2020.

The only roadblock – a requirement that the property have a parking lot that would need to be paid for by the Rare Charitable Reserve.

The deal also hinged on the health of 94-year-old Jane Schneider. The family stipulated that the donation had to happen while she was still living.

In a media release, the township said it recognized the importance of the conservation land as a gift to the Rare Charitable Research Reserve. It also stated that they were committed to coming up with “agreeable solutions to address potential safety concerns that may affect visitors entering and exiting Schneider’s Bush.” They also promised to look into traffic safety for Wilmot Line.

The report from Wilmot staff recommends council endorse year-round and seasonal parking restrictions on Carmel Koch Road, Wilmot Line and Berlett’s Road, as well as speed reduction and heavy truck prohibitions on Wilmot Line, and traffic calming measures at Wilmot Line and Wideman Road. It also suggests a designation change for a portion of the property from rural to an ecological conservation area.

Staff are also recommending additional zoning changes from agriculture to open space.

The township confirmed to CTV News that the motion does not include a parking lot as a condition of its approval.

Monday’s council meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

- With reporting by Jeff Pickel

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