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TML Second Draft OP Meeting - September 1

At the Special Planning Committee meeting on September 1, the key issue in terms of our campaign against the Lippa quarry application, was whether or not there should be a policy in the second draft of the new TML Official Plan requiring new quarries to be sited 'in close proximity to a provincial highway', a policy which can be found in Section E, 14.7 of the current OP.

In his delegation to the Special Planning Committee meeting on August 12, Jeff Crocker, President of the SLCO requested that the policy in the current OP, to require new quarries to be sited 'within close proximity to a provincial highway', should not only be included in the second draft of the revised OP, but that it should be strengthened to require new quarries to be sited 'within two kilometres of a provincial highway'. In the meeting video, watch from 7:57:40 - 8:01:30 to see this discussion.

Due to time constraints, Mr. Crocker's request was not discussed at the meeting on August 12, but Councillor Gordon Roberts did bring up this issue at the Special Planning Committee meeting on September 1. When asked for his opinion, Nick McDonald, one of the Meridian consultants, dismissed the need for a policy requiring new quarries to be sited 'in close proximity to a provincial highway', because the policy to restrict new quarries to areas further than two kilometres from Waterfront and Urban centres knocks out most of the Township already. After brief comments by Director Pink of the TML Planning Department, and Jim Dyment, a Meridian consultant, no further action was taken, and there was no vote with respect to Mr. Crocker's proposal that new quarries should be sited within 2 km of a provincial highway. In the meeting video, watch from 2:02:01 - 2:04:12 to see this discussion.

I believe that this issue is very important, and needs to be dealt with more thoroughly. Why would the TML want to remove a policy from the OP that would mean less heavy truck traffic on municipal and district roads? According to a study published by the Township of North Dumfries, a single loaded gravel truck causes as much wear to a road as 2000 - 8000 passenger cars, and the road usage fees paid by aggregate companies cover only a small fraction of the road maintenance costs. Do we want more gravel trucks on narrow winding roads, like Muskoka Road 3?

Contrary to Mr. McDonald's opinion, I think that the TML OP should retain both a policy that prohibits new quarries 'within 2 kilometres of Waterfront, as well as a policy that requires new quarries to be located 'in close proximity to a provincial highway'. I don't see why these two policies should be mutually exclusive. I think that both policies are needed. A proposed quarry site, such as the Lippa application, that is both within 2 kilometres of Waterfront areas, and further than 10 kilometres from a provincial highway, would be less likely to be approved than a site that contravened only one of these policies.

I think that the policy in the current OP, requiring new quarries to be 'in close proximity to a provincial highway' could be improved by including a specific distance instead of using the words, 'in close proximity'. For example, the policy could be revised to read, 'New quarries must be sited within 8 kilometres of a provincial highway'. The exact number could be negotiated, but I think that a reasonable distance would be somewhere between 2 and 10 kilometres.

Councillor Gordon Roberts, who is a member of the Official Plan Working Committee, has informed me that, "Sometime soon the Township will solicit public comments on the 2nd Draft Official Plan", and it will be very important for us to voice our concerns about the need to have a policy that requires new quarries to be sited within a specific reasonable distance (i.e., between 2 and 10 kilometres) of a provincial highway.

Tom

tom.smp@icloud.com
stopmuskokapit.ca
facebook.com/stopmuskokapit
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About Stop Muskoka Pit

We are a group of concerned residents and supporters working together to stop the proposed Lippa Pit and Quarry in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada.
 
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