Deal reached would lessen restrictions on development in
Posted May 7,
Among the list of outstanding matters and multi-party appeals still
playing out before the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) as they relate to
Simcoe County's Official Plan (OP) and its fit within the legislated
Places to Grow provincial planning policies, is agreement on a new set
of guidelines for land use on or near (active/closed) waste disposal
As currently constituted, Section 4.9 of the OP "requires that
development being located in close proximity to waste
management sites be reviewed in detail with respect to potential
impacts to the landfill activities and the potential impacts to the use
and enjoyment of a property."
As set out by the Ministry of Environment, and copied by the County,
"close proximity" is within a 500 metre buffer zone from the perimeter
of an identified site (See maps below). Development proposals within
that area are required to undertake studies that would consider
"compatibility (traffic, noise, pests, etc.) and
environmental concerns (groundwater contamination, leakage of methane
gas, odour etc.)."
Pictured above the
landfill buffer in Alliston, and below, in Tottenham, as mapped out in
Simcoe County's Official Plan 2007.
The OMB issues list related to this matter notes New Tecumseth's
concerns that the County's proposed policies "would be overly
restrictive and would have the effect of unnecessarily placing the
entire downtown areas in the communities of Alliston and Tottenham in a
"holding" zone." Alliston and Tottenham each have decades' old closed
landfill sites whose buffer zones encompass the business districts and
residential areas. As such, any development proposals are subjected to
detailed environmental assessments.
The agreed to amendments, which still have to be approved by the OMB,
provide that "where current information exists to demonstrate there are
landfill-related impacts associated with the closed sites, the D-4
Assessment Area may be reduced without the need for an Assessment Area
Deleted entirely from Section 4.9 under the revised deal is "ASSESSMENT
AREAS, WASTE DISPOSAL SITES refers to land areas adjacent to former and
existing waste disposal sites where adverse environmental effects may
be evident as a result of waste disposal operations. This is generally
the area within 500 metres of the perimeter of the waste disposal site
but may vary according to the physical characteristics of the land or
type of waste disposal operation."
Included is: "BUFFER AREA for Waste Management Sites means the area
adjacent to the Fill Area for which no non-Waste Disposal Area related
use can be made of the lands. Generally, the minimum distance for a
buffer zone is 30 meters but can be extended to 100 meters or more at
the discretion of the owner and operator of the Waste Disposal Site or
at the direction of the
Ministry of the Environment."
This agreement also settles concerns in Collingwood and Innisfil. The
OMB is scheduled to resume sitting in June when it will deal with among
others, Adjala-Tosorontio's proposal to expand Everett by 10,000 people.