Residents filled Guelph/Eramosa Township council chambers this week in support of a Concerned Residents Coalition (CRC) delegation about next steps regarding the hidden quarry site.
The Feb. 11 decision from the Local Planning Application Tribunal (LPAT) acknowledged the CRC’s request to establish a Community Liaison Committee (CLC).
“For a quarry of this scale and duration, the tribunal considers a CLC the appropriate conduit for sharing information and maintaining open communications,” LPAT member Scott Tousaw wrote in the decision.
The delegation was led by CRC president Doug Tripp and Dan Kennaley, a CRC director and retired director of engineering and planning services for Township of Woolwich. In council, Tripp and Kennaley requested Guelph/Eramosa Township council work with the CRC on creating the terms of reference for the CLC.
“We think it’s really critical if this thing goes ahead that the community has an effective voice in monitoring what is going on,” Tripp said. “Drawing from the research that we did, the precedents that exists for committees similar to this, we have proposed some draft terms of reference.”
A terms of reference is a document that defines the structure, purpose and resources that a committee has. According to the draft, the purpose of the Hidden Quarry CLC is to share information and maintain open communications between the community impacted and the quarry operator. Also to minimize the social and environmental impacts by ensuring all site plan conditions are met.
The decision also stated that the committee's costs be covered by quarry operator James Dick Construction Ltd. The draft notes reasonable expenses such as mileage, an independent non-voting chairperson, and a secretary will be covered by JDCL.
The proposed members who will be apart of the CLC are representatives from CRC, Nassagaweya, Halton Hills, Halton Region, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests, Grand River Conservation Authority, County of Wellington, Guelph/Eramosa council, James Dick Construction and neighbours to the site.
Tripp made clear the draft terms of reference is not set in stone but the CRC wants to be involved in this part of the development process.
“We’re not insisting these be adopted as terms of reference,” Tripp said. “We’re offering this to assist council in dealing with this condition.”
There were two other CRC requests to council. The CRC has asked to stay informed about the timing of JDCL in meeting the required conditions.
“There is no mechanism expressed in the decision about informing the parties as to the progress of meeting those conditions,” Tripp said. “We’re asking council, as one of the parties that needs to be involved and has responsibility for complying or ensuring these conditions are complied with, to keep us informed as to what is happening in meeting those conditions.”
The third request related to the road agreement that the township will enter into with JDCL as part of the conditions. A boundary road to the quarry site, 6th Line Eramosa, will be reconstructed. The ask is for a public commenting opportunity regarding this condition.
“We think it is essential that the citizens of the community be involved and engaged in the terms of what the road agreement will look like,” Tripp said.
In council, Mayor Chris White said the legal team is still reviewing the 69-page decision but is thankful for the CRC’s help with the terms of reference.
“We’re going to be meeting with our legal team to find out how we put the logistics of this whole thing together and we’ll be getting back to you,” White said.