GCH approves OP amendment for Dewdney Mountain Quarry
by Christina Millington
Galway-Cavendish and Harvey Mayor and Council members were told “they are not serving the people,” by disheartened community members at Tuesday’s planning meeting.
The gallery echoed a voice of great concern as GCH council members voted 3-1, Councillor Bev Matthews opposed, in favour of the amendment to the official plan for Zoning By-law B2013-009 related to Dewdney Mountain Farms.
“Provisions of the people,” proclaimed Charlie Simpson, a displeased resident of Harvey, as Mayor Janet Clarkson asked council members to exit the council chambers to allow community members to regain composure before they would address their concerns.
However, Mayor Clarkson couldn’t have been happier when she first called the meeting to order welcoming everyone who was able to make it. “This is democracy at its absolute best,” she said.
Peter Josephs, planner and speaker on behalf of the revised by-law (B2013-009) discussed in importance, according to him as directed by Mayor Clarkson, what the community should know regarding the changes made and brought forth to council for approval.
The proposed quarry (Dewdney Mountain Farms) owned by Paul Ritchie of Bobcaygeon, would facilitate the processing of natural material which include, screening, sorting, washing, crushing, blasting and stockpiling, was originally presented to council members back on January 12, 2012, and has brought many community concerns forward regarding yet another “unnecessary mega quarry” in the area.
Also in attendance was GCH lawyer John Ewart clarifying the legalities of the amendment to community members in the gallery and the provisions around quarries impacting the natural environment and whether or not a license can or cannot be issued.
“There are provisions under Section 12 of the Aggregate Resources Act which allows the Ministry of Natural Resources an opportunity to consider the impact of the proposed quarry on the environment,” said Ewart.
Once Mayor Clarkson declared the unanimous passing of the amendment to the Official Plan the opinions of the community arose.
“The decision is very clear that has happened today,” said Roger LeClerc of North Pigeon Lake Ratepayers Association. “Disappointing to the community and to the residents.”
Despite council’s decisions not to “stand by the people”, further delegations will be made going forward with the Zoning By-law Amendment (B2013-009).
“Council has a very wishy-washy approach to making decisions in this chamber,” said LeClerc. “What is wrong with this council and the Mayor, their leadership?”
Copyright 2010 Lakefield Herald Ltd.
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