Citizen Action Monitor

Residents opposed to Hidden Quarry project build strong case at Guelph Eramosa Council

No 750 Posted by fw, May 19, 2013

“If you read the Rockfort Quarry OMB decision dated November 12, 2010, you realize pretty quickly why the applicant has avoided doing the visual impact study and the additional cultural heritage work, because that OMB decision refused the Rockfort Quarry in part because negative visual impacts and negative cultural heritage impacts.”Dan Kennaley

Following up on an April 9, 2013 post, Southern Ontario residents quick to organize in response to “Hidden Quarry” proposal, here’s a transcript of Dan Kennaley’s presentation to the Guelph Eramosa Council, received by email, May 17, 2013. (Text highlighting and reformatting is mine).

Presentation to Guelph Eramosa Council, by Dan Kennaley, May 6, 2013

RE:  The Proposed Hidden Quarry

Mr. Mayor and Members of Council

I am here this evening as a member of and on behalf of the Concerned Residents Coalition or the CRC.  As you know, the CRC is a community group that has come together to in large part to ensure that the rezoning and Aggregate Resources Act licence applications for the Hidden Quarry are properly evaluated before any decision is contemplated with regards to the proposed quarry.

  • We believe that in order for the proposed quarry application to be properly evaluated the applicant, James Dick Construction Limited, must undertake additional cultural heritage studies to address built heritage resources and cultural heritage landscape resources whereas, thus far the applicant has only studied archaeological resources.  And we are requesting that Township Council require the applicant to undertake these additional cultural heritage studies.
  • Similarly, we believe that for the proposed quarry applications to be properly evaluated, the applicant must also undertake a study of visual impact, which he has not done to date, and we would again request that Township Council require the applicant to this visual impact study.

The reason we believe this additional cultural heritage work is necessary flows most directly from the policies of the County of Wellington Official Plan which at Section 6.6.5 state that in considering proposals to establish new aggregate operations, the following matters will be considered

a) the impact on adjacent land uses and residents and public health and safety;

We don’t know what impacts there will be on adjacent land uses and residents without requiring the applicant to do the visual impact studies.

i) the effect on cultural heritage resources and other matters deemed relevant by Council

Again, we don’t know what effects the proposed quarry will have on cultural heritage resources with requiring the applicant to do the additional cultural heritage work.

That cultural heritage resources include both built heritage and significant cultural heritage landscapes is evident in looking at the Provincial Policy Statement.  The PPS also  requires this Council in making any decision with regard to Planning Act applications to not only conform to the County of Wellington Official Plan but also to be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement.

When I indicated at the March 25, 2013 public meeting that Township Council should require the visual impact and additional cultural heritage work the applicant said no, that the application had been deemed a complete application and there could be no requirement for additional work, I told Council that the applicant was wrong and that Council had every right to require additional work.

The reason I said that then and the reason I am continuing to say that has to do with one of the Ontario Municipal Board cases I brought to Council’s attention in anticipation of this delegation.  The case is the Top of Trees Developments Inc. decision of the OMB dated November 6, 2007.  The bottom line is that the OMB said in this decision that if a municipality did not have policies in their official plan requiring studies as part of a complete application, that it could require them as part of a complete application.  However the Board went on to say that where an official plan requires a study “that it is an unwise strategy for the applicant to insist on not filing this study at an early stage” and “since it may be required within the existing policy framework in any event, an applicant, with an eye to efficiency, would under such circumstances, make virtue out of a necessity”.

If you read the Rockfort Quarry OMB decision dated November 12, 2010, you realize pretty quickly why the applicant has avoided doing the visual impact study and the additional cultural heritage work, because that OMB decision refused the Rockfort Quarry in part because negative visual impacts and negative cultural heritage impacts.

In particular what the OMB said in the case of the Rockfort Quarry is that it was not sufficient for the applicant to screen the quarry operation with 6 metre high berms, but rather that the applicant had to demonstrate that there were no unacceptable visual impacts.  I then want to direct Council’s attention to Appendix C of the Cuesta Planning Report #1 dated January 29, 2013, and more specifically to the proposed Hidden Quarry Operations Plan which shows you the relative size of the berms proposed by James Dick Construction Limited compared to the size of the trees on the property.  As you can see, the proposed berms will dwarf the trees and therefore have the potential to have significant visual impacts.

Finally, I need to express concerns about the Cuesta report.  The CRC is very concerned that the Cuesta report demonstrates a predisposition to approve the Hidden Quarry rezoning application.  This predisposition is indicated:

1. When it talks about the applicable sections of the Provincial Policy Statement and fails to indicate at page 3 the need to conserve cultural heritage resources;

2.  At page 4 when it talks about the technical review process will confirm the validity of the conclusions and recommendations contained in the technical reports and ensure conformity with the PPS in this regard when it should be indicating that the technical review process could demonstrate that this is an unacceptable location for a quarry and provide a basis for Council to refuse the application

3.  When it says also at page 4 that “given the nature of surrounding development and access to a provincial highway, the site would appear to provide a suitable opportunity for the proposed extractive industrial use.  This is an entirely premature comment for the planning report to be making and, perhaps more than any other demonstrate that predisposition to recommend approval  of the quarry.  The statement is entirely premature because insufficient evaluation of the application has occurred to justify such a statement and that includes visual impact work and additional cultural heritage work.

4.  When it misquotes, again at page 4, Section 2.6 of the PPS and fails to identify the need to conserve significant built heritage and significant cultural heritage landscapes.

5.  When it comments on the Natural Environment Technical Report of the applicant at page 5, but fails to comment on the natural environment report deficiencies identified by the Burnside peer review.

6.  When it comments at page 9 that it is somewhat premature to comment as to the land use planning merits or ZBA09/12.  It is somewhat premature it is entirely premature.

7.  When it comments again at page 9 that the technical review process should continue on an on-going basis until there is consensus between the relevant parties.  No, if the applicant can’t demonstrate that this is a suitable location for a quarry or if he refuses to do the work necessary to allow for a thorough evaluation of the application, then Council should refuse the rezoning application.  The applicant should not be permitted to try and outlast the CRC and other people concerned about this application.


Reports for Hidden Quarry

Note: Some of the files below are very large. The time taken to download them will depend on the speed of your internet connection.


Township Planning Reports

PowerPoint Presentations from March 25, 2013 Public Meeting

Technical Reports from Applicant

Information re: Aggregate Resources Act Application

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This entry was posted on May 19, 2013 by in community action, environmental activism, evidence based counterpower, grassroots planning and tagged .
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