On Tuesday, July 9, Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) adjudicator Scott Tousaw heard the last arguments on the applications for the Hidden Quarry proposal by James Dick Construction Limited (JDCL). The proposed aggregate mine would be located between Rockwood and Acton on Highway 7.
This location is in the very high water re-charge resource, the Paris-Galt Moraine. The site, to be blasted 23 metres below the water table, is situated immediately between provincially significant wetlands to the north and, to the south, dramatic cold water discharge through a multitude of springs and Brydson Creek, sensitive brook trout habitat, feeding the Blue Springs wetlands and creek, an Area of Natural Scientific Interest.
The application was opposed by two Parties each with a full roster of experts – Halton Region/Halton Hills and Concerned Residents Coalition (CRC). Wellington County presented one witness.
CRC’s lawyer, Chris Barnett argued that in spite of owning and assessing the property for more than 20 years, including the past seven years of active analysis and review, JDCL has failed to satisfy the statutory tests required for approval. In particular, Mr. Barnett asserted that JDCL has not “’. . . demonstrated that there will be no negative impacts on the [specific adjacent] natural features or on their ecological functions’ as required by the Provincial Policy Statement.”
Mr. Germain concurred, stating: ‘The hearing before the Tribunal is not a design charrette. When an applicant requests a hearing date, which this applicant did more than 3 years ago, it should have an application that is ready to be approved. That was not the case with this application at the commencement of the 2016 hearing, it was not the case at the commencement of the 2019 hearing and, despite various revisions to the supporting evidence and 3 new sets of site plans which have been tendered over the course of the hearing, it still isn’t the case today.” Attached is a summary of CRC’s key arguments.
It will likely be three or four months before a decision is rendered.