On Oct. 18, 2016, the Council of the Town of Halton Hills unanimously approved a donation of $15,000 to the Concerned Residents Coalition (CRC) in support of its case against James Dick Construction Ltd’s (JDCL) proposed Hidden Quarry.
In making the motion, Mayor Rick Bonnette stated: “The CRC have done an awesome job in fundraising in such a short period of time. There are no municipal boundaries in opposition to the Hidden Quarry. There are zero benefits to Halton Hills for this approval. We would like to give more but we have our own legal costs at the hearings.”
JDCL made applications for an aggregate licence and re-zoning of agricultural land to industrial (extractive) to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Guelph Eramosa Township (GET) in 2013. CRC joins the Town of Halton Hills and Halton Region as a Party at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), bringing to light potential negative impacts of the quarry proposal including issues related to blasting, water, traffic, agriculture and natural environment. Halton Hills is particularly concerned about increases in gravel truck traffic along Highways 7 and 25 which pass right through the heart of Acton and on through Georgetown and Norval.
The case was to have been adjudicated this fall at the OMB, but the Hearing was adjourned indefinitely on October 13 because the GET zoning bylaw under which the application was made is no longer in force, replaced by a new comprehensive zoning bylaw. JDCL must now consider making a new application to GET Council. The delay will increase the cost for all Parties. In his presentation to Council, CRC President Doug Tripp estimated that the $325,000 it has already raised to cover OMB costs will have to be increased by at least 17% to $380,000. The Halton Hills contribution is the foundation for this next stage of fund-raising.
In addition to the more than $255,000 CRC has raised towards OMB costs through fund-raising events and individual donations from hundreds of residents, it has received $70,000 from Guelph Eramosa and $10,000 from the Town of Milton to support the costs of expert testimony.
The Halton Hills motion was seconded by Councillor Fogal who noted that the proposed quarry will impact Halton Region directly and that the Town must be at the table. Councillor Mike Albano expressed his concern about both traffic and environmental impacts, and Councillor Jon Hurst congratulated CRC on its professional efforts at raising awareness and funds, and bringing the case to the OMB. For more see www.hiddenquarry.ca