LPAT (OMB) Hearing began May 21 and ended July 9, 2019…… decision February 11, 2020: Sadly, against community and the environment; Quarry shamefully approved.
- LPAT Hidden Quarry Decision
- Media Release – CRC Responds to Decision on Hidden Quarry-final
- Concerned Residents Coaliltion Statement on the Hidden Quarry LPAT Decision
To CRC Supporters all –
It is with deep regret that I am bringing bad news regarding the Hidden Quarry adjudication. This morning we received the decision of the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) approving, with conditions, the application by JDCL to excavate the Hidden Quarry in Rockwood. CRC’s Board and our legal counsel are reviewing the decision and will follow up soon with a copy of the decision itself and our comments following our Board meeting tomorrow evening. I know that the LPAT decision will be deeply troubling to many in our community, and I can speak for my colleagues on the Board in saying that this news is devastating.
Final Legal Arguments from LPAT Hearing
Week 1 - May 21 - 23
The sun shone!! CRC supporters filled the chamber this morning and we all took a deep breath together before the deep dive into what, it is now clear, will be an intense 8-week Hearing.
IMPORTANT HOUSEKEEPING CHANGES TO NOTE:
1. It was agreed that the Hearing will run Monday through Friday, with occasional exceptions including June 14, the only one we are aware of now.
2. It was agreed that the sessions will begin at 9:30 am and typically run until 4:45 pm.
3. Mr. Tousaw stated that LPAT had determined that the Hearing must end by Friday, July 12.
Please see summary of today's session - Day 10 Summary
EXTRA EXTRA! Even More Quarries Coming?
The long dormant, but never closed and still licenced, Bernardi Pit just south of the Conservation Area and west of southwest Rockwood/Harris Mill School is being re-awakened, it would appear. A new sign on Guelph Line, along with new fencing, are the clues. With JDCL's newly purchased 200 acres on 6th Line Eramosa across from the proposed Hidden Quarry, and this revived pit, Rockwood and area need to be ready for change!
Please see summary of today's session - Day 16 Summary
This was the main day for Participant Statements. "Participant" status allows members of the public to speak 'on the record' for or against the quarry. NO ONE asked to speak in favour of the quarry. There were so many people who wanted to speak against the quarry that the 'Chair' requested they all compare notes to eliminate duplication and thereby shorten proceedings without loosing important public input. The eight statements referenced in the Day 16 Summary (including links to their statements) were chosen to cover all the key community concerns.
Please see summary of today's session - Day 23 Summary
5th Line Nassagaweya resident Mr. Tony Russell made his "Participant" statement regarding his families' terrible quarry experiences when they lived for 11 years next to the Acton quarry on 3rd Line Acton, south of 22nd. Their house became literally unlivable and they had to move. Their foundation was damaged and the quarry company refused to pay damages. Then they had to sell below property value losing again. The house has since been demolished (6 of 13 homes along the line are now gone or derelict).
Please see summary of today's session - Day 25 Final Summaries by,
The final legal arguments were begun and will carry over to tomorrow:
- James Dick Construction Limited's lawyer David White, in a convincing impersonation of Donald Trump, spouted on for nearly twice the allotted time regaling the proceedings with a fancifully interpretation of JDCL's cooperative community spirit and special place in the universe, blab, blab, blab... James Dick (JDCL)
- Wellington lawyer Ciccone made some impromptu comments that amounted to selling out their Greenlands zoning of the area for magic beans. County of Wellington
- Finally, Regional Municipality of Halton and Halton Hills' lawyer David Germain began a grown-ups assessment of the case, referencing actual legal presedents and written laws which were casting a rather glaring and very unfavourable light on JDCL's fanciful assertions. He will continue tomorrow morning @ 9:30. Halton Region & Town of Halton Hills
Please see summary of today's session - Day 26 Final Summaries by,
- Regional Municipality of Halton and Halton Hills' lawyer David Germain continued his grown-ups assessment of the case, referencing actual legal presedents and written laws. Halton Region & Town of Halton Hills
- GET legal counsel Eileen Costello made a brief statement essentially reminding the Chair that GET still opposes the quarry even though they didn't put up a legal challenge.
- Concerned Residents Coalition – Chris Barnett presented another grown-ups assessment of the hearing underscoring the many errors, contradictions, and biases presented by JDCL. There were a lot of nodding heads among those who have attended most of the hearing. CRC
- Mr. White of JDCL had his opportunity to make their "Reply" to the other summaries. Consistent with his 'take a mile' approach he once again tried to prolong the hearing by completely abusing the opportunity. His attempts were thwarted by the other lawyers and the Chair at each turn however he did finally run out of hot air. James Dick (JDCL)
The OMB Chair, Mr. Scott Tousaw, then thanked all parties, including the attending galleries, for their interest and exemplary decorum during the 26 days of testimony. He thanked all counsel, the expert witnesses and citizen participants for helping him understand the nuances of the Hidden Quarry case and promised to give all the time needed to make an informed decision. Mr. Tousaw then declared the proceedings closed at 3:48 pm.
With 26 days, 41 witnesses, 30 experts, 171 exhibits, 180 pages of his own notes, it will likely be fall before Mr. Tousaw's verdict is rendered. The CRC will continue to monitor the situation while we wait.
A little Hearing History
Phase 1 ended with the first Hearing, under the old acronym OMB, which started and ended abruptly in September 2016.
Understandably, some confusion exists regarding the outcome of the Hidden Quarry OMB Hearing that took place in September 2016. Please note that the OMB hearing was NOT conclusive with respect to the proposed quarry and so the effort to ensure that it is rejected is ongoing and strong. We are very optimistic that the best interests of the community and environment will prevail and the proposed quarry will be stopped for good. There is a great deal of work ahead of us but we are seasoned to the effort and we are in a much stronger position than when the Hidden Quarry was proposed almost 4 years ago.
Briefly, what was reasonably expected to be a single 7-week hearing that would have concluded with a definitive decision on the proposed quarry mine, was cut short to three abbreviated court days spread over 2 weeks that concluded in the ruling to adjourn the hearing "indefinitely." The hearing had to be adjourned because JDCL had not appealed to have their application considered under GET's new zoning bylaw. The bylaw that governed their application was repealed and replaced in August 2016. The OMB could not judge the case without the context of a current bylaw. (OMB Decision on Bylaw Jurisdiction)
JDCL was left with the option to reapply and start the process again. But this time, Wellington County's amended Official Plan was in place requiring that municipal re-zoning required an official plan amendment. In addition, new zoning designations and amendment criteria were included in the Official Plan. The proposed site is now zoned Greenlands, Core Greenlands and Agriculture. The revised designation sets the bar a little higher for the applicant. Nevertheless JDCL reapplied in December 2016 (a Christmas present to Rockwood and the area) ushering in Phase 2 with the new year, 2017.
OMB renamed LPAT - as if this isn't confusing enough.
The Hidden Quarry fight has a truly unique history. The process took an unexpected turn with the outcome of the September 2016 Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearings which were intended to decide whether or not the quarry would be allowed, see Phase 1 above. In short, due to legal technicalities associated with mistakes made by James Dick Construction Limited (JDCL), they were presented with a choice to either drop their quarry plans, or submit new quarry applications. They chose the latter and then pushed things back to the courts for the second time.
This time however the hearings will be know as the LPAT hearings because while JDCL was doing their new applications, the OMB was restructured by the Province and renamed the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT). That is why the May 21, 2019 Hidden Quarry hearing is now referred to as a LPAT hearing BUT this is in name only. Because the process began under the OMB it will continue under the old OMB rules verses the new LPAT rules. We have to refer to them as LPAT hearings but they are really OMB hearings. Fun eh!