VALLEY VOICES e-News #36 January 21/06
Sunday, January 22, at Vernonville. A Social Tea and SVA Review. From 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Since the Steelers are going to beat Denver, you can’t use the game as an excuse to miss the Tea. Your BoD will be there to inform and encourage the membership. This is being organized by Alyson Butler and the fundraising Committee.
Wednesday, January 25, Grafton. Council will be voting on the SVA rezoning. The public meeting starts at 8:00pm.
The Valley really needs your presence. Valley Voices and a few members will be asking for delegation status to speak on matters arising from the Jan.20 meeting with our lawyer. Yes, that means something new.
The press will be there. Here is our chance to further publicize our official opposition. The number in attendance is a statement - with a lot of us there Council will know that we still don’t believe we have received fair, complete, and correct consideration.
It is important to go on the record that numerous VV members were present to oppose this rezoning .
A community group such as Valley Voices can succeed when people commit to it and keep that commitment. There is a solid core of Directors and volunteers working on your behalf. We were quite encouraged by the turnout at the Dec 13/05 meeting. You have shown that you want your Association to keep working for you, and a lot of you are reciprocating by working with us. We don’t plan to let up. Show your determination by showing up in even greater numbers at meetings. The greater the attendance, the more uneasy Council must feel.
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A REVIEW OF OUR POSITION
Council may think they have responded to all our rezoning concerns.
Chuck Shook begs to differ.
Valley Voices is still critical of the rezoning for gravel extraction on this property.
The process, in our opinion, has not been open. There have been many in camera meetings with the proponents. Valley Voices was not able to meet with Council on any bases, let alone in camera, on this issue. When council was presented with issues, they were not addressed and were left unresolved. We did, however, have a meeting on the landfill site.
On the 8 questions we raised, we have not received a reply. When a question on this matter was asked at Council the reply was to file a request under the Freedom of Information Act, for a $50.00 fee. Is this co-operation? Is this an open process?
When the adjacent properties were severed, the proponent agreed and did not disclose that there were plans to develop a gravel pit on the property. In fact the proponent had previously approached Council about developing a pit operation. By agreeing to the severances, was the establishment of a gravel operation voided?
The severance of the landfill site raises questions which Council refuses to address. If the property should go back to the owner before the severance, or becomes township property, how will the landfill problem be addressed? Council is responsible not only for the present but also for the past. Past Councils have granted severances, have not protected the landfill area, and have not addressed the gravel issue which is clearly mapped. This is recognized by your insurer who is asking for a 48% increase in premiums!
Your Official Plan as it stands does not support this rezoning nor does the Pine Ridge Municipal Planning Agency. Provincial policies do not support the zoning changes.
We again ask Council to deny the requested rezoning.
And so does Bob Garthson.
1. The lack of appropriate and considerate answers to valid questions asked by VVRA.
2. The failure by A/H to adequately address issues related to the Turk Road landfill.
3. The unwillingness of A/H to protect landowners and residents in the Valley. Although gravel resources were identified, severances and building permits were granted, contrary to Provincial (MNR) guidelines.
4. A/H is leaving itself with no recourse if/when there are landfill and water problems. No local agreement can preclude future applications by SVA to excavate below the water table. This decision rests with Queen’s Park.
5. The recent Provincial announcement regarding the empowerment of local governments, and the prevention of “Development Interests” having good local decisions reversed by the OMB, should encourage Council to protect the well-being of residents such as us.
6. No local decision on aggregate should be made until the MOE have assured us the proposed pit is safe and compatible with current residential development and with the even more sensitive SVA operations plan.