Overview of Shelter Valley Aggregates Pit Application and
What Steps are Necessary for a Final Decision on the Pit Application
The proposed site is 140 acres located just over 2 km northeast of Vernonville between Shelter Valley Road and Turk Road, on property owned by Ruthben Holdings Ltd. (Ben Peters) The proposal is put forward by Shelter Valley Aggregates Ltd.
Shelter Valley Aggregates’ consultants estimate 9 million tonnes of sand and gravel material at the site; the proposal is to take up to 500,000 tonnes per year, above the groundwater table.
The planned operating hours are 6 am to 7 pm with no operations on Sundays and statutory holidays.
Aggregate will be hauled by highway dump trucks, with the majority of the traffic on Shelter Valley Road and another entrance on Turk Road — full capacity would necessitate 520 truck trips per day.
There will be no limitations on which roads the trucks will travel, leaving them to choose the quickest route to their destination. All surrounding roads are potential truck routes.
Ontario regulations require that 4 cents per tonne of aggregate be provided to the municipality of Alnwick-Haldimand (about $20,000 a year at most) and 1 cent per tonne be provided to Northumberland County.
Necessary Steps to the Final Decision on the Pit Application
1. Alnwick/Haldimand Council has to make a decision on the zoning by-law amendment, which they technically are supposed to do in 90 days from the date the application is received in the township office. However, in amendments, which are matters of municipal planning significance, they can take longer. There is no statue of limitations on how long the Council has to make a decision. (Section 34 subsection 11 of the Ontario Planning Act)2. If the Council does not make a decision on the zoning by-law amendment in 90 days, Shelter Valley Aggregates can go to the Ontario Municipal Board.
3. If the Council does not make a decision on the zoning by-law amendment in 90 days and Shelter Valley Aggregates does appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board, they may not accept the referral if they perceive that Council is acting in good faith on the matter.
4. As per the Haldimand Official Plan, a Development Agreement between A/H Council and Shelter Valley Aggregates must be agreed to before Council can make a decision on the zoning by-law amendment. OMB could possibly hear the case even if there is not a Development Agreement???
5. Council may require peer review studies on some of Shelter Valley Aggregates studies as well as initiate their own original ones, i.e., traffic impact study. The applicant would find their own consultants, set up terms of reference for the original study and pay the consultants for their study.
6. Studies (original and peer review) will happen before Council will make a decision on the zoning by-law amendment. This is typically what does happen.
7. Ministry of Natural Resources receives the objections from people by July 21 and Shelter Valley Aggregates must attempt to address these objections and demonstrate to the Ministry how they have done so.
8. Once the Council makes a decision on the zoning by-law, depending on what the decision is, either party may appeal that decision within 20 days of “the date of giving notice” to the OMB (Section 34 of the Ontario Provincial Planning Act).
9. Under the Aggregate Resources Act the Ministry of Natural Resources cannot issue a pit license until the Township Council passes an amendment(s) to a zoning by-law allowing for aggregate extraction. (ARA section 12.1)
10. The Ontario Municipal Board usually waits until all issues (by-law and pit application) come to them together vs. dealing with each separately.
11. Township Councils normally usually defend their position (one way or the other) at the Ontario Municipal Board; however, in a matter of municipal planning significance they would most likely do so.
12. As a rule of thumb the Ontario Municipal Board is reluctant to overturn a township Council’s decision unless the Ontario Municipal Board believes the Council made an improper or poor decision or there are matters the Council didn’t consider.
13. The Environmental Control zone will not require a separate zoning by-law. The zoning by-law amendment being considered will deal with the Environmental Control zone.
Other Notes LTCA would have had a hand in determining the Environmental Control zone. People have sued proponents for loss of house value in similar situations. Any change to the road crossing over the EC zone for the Haul route would be dealt with by Council and would be a change to the existing by law and included with the application for rezoning to aggregate extraction. Pine Ridge Municipal Planning Authority (PRMPA) is the 4 township municipal planning authority of which A/H is a member. Bill Finley stated that in the next 10 days (July 21) Council will meet to discuss whether Valley Voices will have a say in the selection of who will do the peer reviews on any of the proponents studies. Brent Barnes, Planning Director PRMPA, (a municipal planning agency used by 4 townships, Brighton, A/H and Hamilton and Cramahe) has been asked for input on peer reviews. 1996 Provincial Policy Statement (more than a guideline and less than a strict policy) available on the Provincial Ministry of Municipal Affairs website guides a number of provincial decisions including aggregate extraction. This PPS was revised in Feb. 1997. Section on mineral aggregates is important.