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Business owner asks town to reject moratorium

by Mike Robinson

ERIN - Councillors here are faced with a catch-22.

On one side, council has faced numerous presentations requesting a moratorium on unregulated fill in the municipality.

Now, to complicate things, a local business owner has stated that if council initiates a fill moratorium, it may face an OMB hearing to justify that decision.

Anthea Larke of Meadowlarke Stables is requesting that council reject a moratorium on fill in the municipality.

In her presentation to Erin councillors on Feb. 4, Larke stated, “I am building riding arenas - both indoor and outdoor. I do not have a fill dump site, I have a facility under construction.”

She provided council with a two-page report outlining the time line of work involved since the April 2011 application and receipt of a permit for a new entrance to her property off Third Line.

She then spoke to the need for fill in order to construct equine facilities.

Larke said she has lived in Erin as a taxpayer for a long time. She said the property she purchased had been a hog operation and neighbours were happy the large volume of pigs were gone.

“I spent nine years cleaning up debris, repairing existing buildings and planting trees.”

She operated Meadowlarke Stables in Mississauga for 34 years where horses are trained for riding lessons, camps and horse shows.

Larke is now in the process of developing the Erin site as a second operation.

“I need the fill to build a riding arena. All the fill coming to my facility has been tested, there is a ticketing system in place to make certain trucks are coming from the tested sites.”

As well, Larke said, there is an on-site supervisor who runs the operations to ensure no untested fill arrives on site.

“I am opposed to bringing in contaminated fill as everyone else is - for moral reasons and a business point of view. People would not want to be riding their expensive horses on contaminated fill.”

Larke said she had willingly complied with every regulatory request and was working with the GRCA to minimize the impact on the areas under their control and expects to be receiving a permit soon.

“I have paid the town of Erin over $15,000 in permit fees,” she added. “I have fulfilled all the requirements of the current bylaw.

“Since July 2013, I have had to deal with angry visits by people living on Wellington Road 50 near the Third Line. I want to live in harmony with nearby residents and have done all I can to address their concerns.”

However, Larke wanted to make it clear that there are other trucks using Wellington Road 50 - “I have no authority over them.” She believed her business and her integrity have been unfairly compromised by the anti-fill group.

“As I have provided ample evidence that my fill is not contaminated, there should be no problem in granting my permit.”

Larke said if the permit is denied, she wanted a written response detailing the reasons for the denial and the legal grounds on which council can veto established policy.

“Considering the time and effort spent on the fill bylaw, when there has been only one permit issued in two years, I consider this to be a waste of taxpayers’ money and staff resources. Without the fill to build my rings, I will be severely limited in my business ... I will have no choice but to go to the OMB.”

Mayor Lou Maieron said “fill is a very controversial issue.” He said there are positives and negatives and council is trying to balance that.

He said that he too would be disturbed if there was a constant flow of noise from trucks.

When asked specifically how many trucks were brought in to the facility, Larke did not have an exact number.

Larke estimated that it was not a hundred trucks per day.

“I’m trying to build an equine facility which is something the town is looking for.”

February 14, 2014


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