Town of Mono, horse trainer settle fill dispute

May 18, 2023   ·   0 Comments


Mono and a resident farming family have come to a settlement in a dispute over importing fill to their property.

The municipality and the Ritchies came to the settlement at the Normal Farm Practices Protection Board.

The Ritchies sought to construct a horse training track for the standardbred horses they raise at their Mono farm. Their construction proposal required the importation of 22,000 cubic metres of fill.

They applied to the town for a variance to the municipal fill bylaw to permit the importation of fill. Town council denied the application due to concerns over soil contamination, stormwater management, noise, dust, vibration, and traffic safety.

“The town strongly supports its equine industry but also needs to ensure that any proposal protects the natural environment and ensures that the protections within the town’s fill bylaw are maintained,” said Mark Early, Mono’s CAO.

“The town is of the view that the settlement achieves this balance.”

The Ritchies requested that the Normal Farm Practices Protection Board determine that the town’s fill bylaw restricted their agricultural operation by preventing the importation of the required fill to construct the horse track.

The Ritchies contended that their proposal was in keeping with normal farm practices.

In reaching the settlement, the town carried out detailed engineering work that used fill available on the farm that reduced the amount of fill to 17,500 cubic metres.

The town negotiated safeguards that provide for assurances that all provincial and municipal criteria for the importation of fill are respected. These safeguards include restrictions on the origin of the fill so that the fill will be agricultural in origin; road occupancy permits and restricted haul routes; a fill management plan; inspection protocols; fill testing, sampling and the requirement that a professional engineer or geoscientist is involved throughout the importation process; maintenance of natural drainage; and peer review by the towns’ engineer;

“The town will go ahead with the approvals that incorporate the safeguards negotiated in the settlement agreement,” Early said. “A start date for construction of the standardbred horse track will be published once confirmed.”

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