Violet Hill gravel pit moving forward in Mono

October 22, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Peter Richardson

Despite years of fighting against the project, residents of Mono are going to see yet another giant gravel pit operating in town.

The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) decided in its Oct. 7 ruling, that the Greenwood Aggregates application in Violet Hill should be approved, over objections made from the Town of Mono and its residents.

Mayor John Creelman said the Town was extremely disappointed with the outcome, noting that none of the Town’s or Protect Mono’s objections were credited in the decision. He added that the decision itself was not the problem, but rather that it was completely one sided.

Mayor Creelman went on to say that during his time as a Senior Justice of the Peace in Ontario, he wrote many decisions and always tried to be balanced, looking at all the facts from both sides of a dispute. However, this was certainly not the case in this hearing.

At this time, the Town has few options to reverse the decision, but is considering all their avenues and maintaining ongoing discussions with both the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests (MNRF), and its minister.

“When you have just cause, a good reason, you must stand up for community standards. You are derelict if you do not,” said Mayor Creelman.

The Greenwood Aggregates application is in the Violet Hill area of Mono and anticipates up to 1 million tonnes of gravel to be extracted annually over a lifespan of roughly 30 years.

The main issues of contention are the volume of trucks and resident safety on the proposed truck route, as well as the environmental impacts, especially to ground water run-off.

During a hearing held between August 24 and September 17 of 2020 in Mono Council Chambers, expert testimony was given by all sides on matters pertaining to the Violet Hill gravel pit, but the tribunal sided with Greenwood on all matters of contention.

They found that Greenwood had adequately addressed all outstanding issues and in their decision.

The tribunal recommended that the MNRF issue, under the Aggregate Resources Act, a license to operate the proposed gravel pit, conditional upon the Ministry of Transportation confirming all necessary approvals and needed permits.

The approval is pending confirmation of a development agreement between Greenwood and the Town of Mono for improvements to 3rd Line, and confirmation by the Town that Site Plans dated August 8, 2020 have been amended to be satisfactory. As well, the

Town of Mono and the Nottawasaga Conservation Authority need to confirm approval of designated erosion control for the construction of the driveway entrance to the gravel pit.

When asked for comment, Councillor Sharon Martin said that she was disappointed with the LPAT decision and that the residents surrounding the Greenwood property deserved a better outcome. However, she was satisfied that the Town had done everything possible to protect the residents of that area and the environment.

Coun. Martin told the Citizen she hopes that going forward Mono can ensure that all requirements for developing the property with environmental considerations will be in place.

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