Dewdney Mountain Farm gives up fight for mega quarry near Bobcaygeon

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KAWARTHA LAKES-Ruth Pillsworth was ecstatic to learn the owners of a proposed new mega quarry near Bobcaygeon have withdrawn their final appeal in a multi year battle to get the quarry approved. Pillsworth is one of a number of residents who spent years and a lot of money fighting the quarry.

The Dewdney Mountain Farm Quarry would have been located on Ledge Road. Ledge Road is a meandering, country road with a canopy of trees overhead and plenty of wildlife and a proposed number of up to 61 tractor trailer trucks per hour, full of rock and stone from the quarry.

A group of about 11 residents in the area have been fighting the quarry for years. They’ve spent about $200,000 of their own money to try and stop it.

The quarry 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 in March. 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 was all but approved with one issue remaining, noise mitigation. The quarry originally said they would need to use private property to erect the noise mitigation features such as huge concrete walls. 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.

Three days were set aside for the hearing with the Ontario Municipal Board in March. At the hearing, lawyers for Dewdney presented changes they had made to address the noise that did not require the use of private property. However the hearing officer found on the side of the opponents and the project was once again stalled.

“The evidence tendered by the Proponent in this proceeding falls well below the standard necessary to satisfy the Tribunal that the required noise mitigation works are feasible and capable of implementation so as to achieve the required noise attenuation objectives and also not creating ancillary undue impacts either as such impacts may relate to the functioning of the road itself or the use and enjoyment of the properties abutting thereon.” said the court in it’s ruling. Sight lines and snow removal were also concerns.

A few weeks later lawyers for the quarry filed an appeal of that decision.

On Saturday night Pillsworth and the other opponents were notified that the quarry owners had withdrawn their appeal and with it any chance of going ahead with the quarry. “We have been instructed by our client not to proceed with our client’s motion for leave to appeal.” said lawyers for Dewdney in a court document obtained by Kawartha 411.

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?” Pillsworth says.

Residents are holding a celelebration and fundraiser on July 12 to help recoup some of the money spent by the opponents. The Limestone Blues Celebration and Fundraiser will be held at the Kawartha Coffee Company in Bobcaygeon at 6pm Thursday July 12th!