July 2, 2009 Increased Aggregate Extraction Proposed
Online petition now available to show your support.
North Bay City Council is on the brink of ignoring recommendations from City Planning staff, the North Bay Mattawa Conservation Authority and Ministry of Culture for a minumim 120 metre quarrying buffer and to proceed with only a 60 metre buffer to advance aggregate extraction in the area. At time of writing a Public Meeting is planned by friends of la Vase Portages at the Royal Canadian Legion, Wednesday July 8, 6:00 p.m.
Councillors disregard staff recommendations on proposed quarry. North Bay Nugget, 30 June, 2009.
Developer plans rock quarry near La Vase portage
Posted By Gord Young
Updated 19 hours ago
Several city politicians disregarded a staff recommendation Monday to double a 60-metre buffer zone between the historic La Vase portage and a proposed quarry operation.
After several years on hold, the rock quarry proposal, led by developer Don Fudge, has returned before council for a nod from the city.
But rather than agree to a recommended 120-metre buffer zone between the historic canoe route and proposed quarry, council’s community services committee — including chairman Mike Anthony and councillors Dave Mendicino and Tom Graham as well as Mayor Vic Fedeli as an ex-officio member — voted in favour of a 60-metre buffer, originally suggested several years ago.
The proposed quarry is on Crown land, to which Fudge has staked claim, and the Ministry of Natural Resources has final say over the operation.
But city support will improve his chances of approval when applying to extract aggregate from the 40-hectare parcel. And Fudge’s rezoning application has long been on file with the city.
Council will vote on the 60-metre buffer during its next regular meeting July 13.
Staff was ready to recommend its approval in 2005 with agencies including the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority and Ministry of Transportation signing off on the proposal.
But opponents — mainly the Friends of La Vase Portages — convinced the conservation authority to take a second look at the proposal, which ultimately pulled its support for the quarry citing concerns raised by the Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation that a 120-metre buffer zone may be more appropriate.
City staff recommended at the time that the process be put on hold until the various parties could sort out the concerns over the buffer zone. The issue wasn’t discussed by council again until Monday.
Coun. Chris Mayne, a member of the Friends of La Vase Portages, said the group wants to protect the pristine, park-like setting that still exists in that area of the La Vase River. And he said the group believes a 200-metre buffer would obscure the operation from sight, protecting the skyline and keeping away dust and noise.
Coun. Sarah Campbell also reminded councillors of the historical importance of the ancient canoe route used by First Nations for hunting and trading.
This route is nationally significant . . . make no mistake about it,” said Campbell, noting the portage is used by people from across the country.
But council heard Fudge completed an environmental impact study that showed a 60-metre buffer was sufficient. Members also heard a nearby Miller Paving quarry was given approval about 10 years ago with a buffer of about 60 metres — give or take in some areas. In addition, council was told there are several other smaller “grandfathered” operations that have no buffers at all.
Ian Kilgour, manager of planning services, said the proposed quarry can’t be seen from the portage. And he suggested the 120-metre buffer would be compromised between the proponent, who would be filling a need for aggregate at the south end of the city, and those opposed to the operation, who are interested in protecting the waterway.
Article ID# 1634877
ouncillors disregard staff recommendations on proposed quarry. North Bay Nugget, 30 June, 2009.