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HomeNewsQuarry appeal hearing off to a rocky start

Quarry appeal hearing off to a rocky start

KAWARTHA LAKES-Becki Jory is not happy with the noise mitigation proposed for her home on Ledge Road near Bobcaygeon. “It’s ridiculous, it’s a concrete wall 324 feet long by 11.5 feet high” Jory said when she saw the revised proposal at the first day of the Ontario Municipal Board hearing, appealing the Dewdney Mountain Quarry.

Ledge Road is a meandering, country road with a canopy of trees overhead and plenty of wildlife. It’s also the planned to be on the haul route for up to 61 tractor trailer trucks per hour, full of rock and stone from the proposed quarry.

Jory is one of about 11 residents who have been fighting the quarry for years. It was approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources in 2012 and the Municipality of Trent Lakes (Galway-Cavendish Harvey at the time) voted in favour of an Official Plan Amendment to allow for the zoning for the Quarry. The one, lone dissenter was councillor Bev Matthews who is now the Mayor of Trent Lakes. “No one is happy when they hear news of another quarry coming to our area.” Matthews told Kawartha 411 last week. Our roads, safety, and our quiet sanctuaries are all compromised.  We know that quarries are needed, we all use the products that come from rocks but when is enough, enough?” 

The quarry is all but approved with this one lone appeal pending. At issue is the noise mitigation. The quarry originally said they would need to use private property to erect the noise mitigation features, the residents appealed saying they hadn’t given permission for the company to use their property.  The courts agreed, sending the issue back to the Ontario Municipal Board.

The lawyers for both sides were at odds before the hearing, which is taking place at the Trent Lakes Municipal Office, even began. They couldn’t agree on which witness would go first, with one of the witnesses for the quarry only available on day one.

Once the hearing began the lawyers were divided over the scope of the hearing. David White, the lawyer for Dewdney thought the hearing should focus soley on whether or not the quarry would be using private property and since the company and changed the plan and now intends to erect the noise walls on municipal property, the case is over. “There’s going to be a fundamental difference between Mr. Gillespie and I over the scope of this hearing.” White told the hearing adjudicator. “The sole grounds for appeal is on page nine (of the courts ruling), it contemplates mitigation measures may not be implemented without the private land owenrs consent, which is not provided. My expert in his original report indicated that the mitigation could be on the municipal road allowance or could be on private property.”

Eric Gillespie is representing the residents. In his opinion the hearing should not only look at whether the mitigation is on public or private proprty, it should also delve into whether or not the proposed mitigation will follow the Planning Act and how it might effect the environment etc. “We believe it is a case where the central issue we are dealing with is noise mitigation on the haul route and whether that can be done feasably on the municipal right-of-way. That in our respectful view brings up a number of other issues.”

The adjudicator for the Ontario Municipal Board, Gerald Swinkin heard both sides on that issue but utimately sided with the quarry, severely limiting the scope of the hearing. “I am prepared to hear challenges to that evidence in terms of whether there is an error of reality about such mitigation measures if in fact it’s a fantasy that such structures can be constructed (on public property) then I should not take comfort in what is being proposed,” Swinkin said. “So to that extent I think you have an absolute right to chase that down and test the evidence about whether these measures are realistic, but I’m not prepared to now say that opens the door to general land use planning considerations about the rural landscape.”

Residents say the rural landscape will be forever changed “We are in a beautiful area and all of a sudden it will be gone,” Ruth Pillsworth told Kawartha 411. “People don’t know unfortunately because we are a seasonal area a lot of people aren’t aware of the issue that when they come to the Bobcaygeon area it’s not going to be the same anymore.” Read more here: https://www.kawartha411.ca/2018/03/19/bobcaygeon-area-residents-taking-last-stand-against-mega-quarry/

There are already 35 quarries in the Bobcaygeon/Buckhorn area. At its peak, the proposed quarry could have up to 61 big rigs per hour hauling rock and stone from the site. (6 days a week) That’s one tractor trailer per minute, on average. Pillsworth says 80% of those would go through Bobcaygeon and the rest toward Buckhorn. “How is that going to affect our beautiful little village?”

Day two of the hearing continues on Thursday.




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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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