After 24 years Wilson Quarry battle may return to OMB

Wellington North council has endorsed the minutes of settlement for the controversial Wilson Quarry proposal located adjacent to the Luther Marsh.

Council made the decision after hearing from the Friends of Luther Marsh (FLM) group and Mark Van Patter, manager of planning and environment with Wellington County.

“We urge you and council to oppose rezoning of the applicant’s land to a use that would allow for the development of this quarry next to one of the most important wetlands in southern Ontario,” said Dr. Richard Gorrie, president of FLM.

“We don’t have much more room in our environment for human error,” added fellow FLM member Dr. Wendy Agnew, who quoted section 14.1 of the Wellington Official Plan and asked, “Is not the objective of council to further the health and spirit of its constituents?”

The Wilson Quarry proposal has been debated since 1991, when the zoning bylaw amendment was first requested.

The matter was subsequently  adjourned by the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) pending a formal “minutes of settlement” agreement resolving in part the dispute with neighbours and concerns about possible impacts on the Luther Marsh.

The application requires endorsement of the settlement in order to return to the OMB for a final decision.

While acknowledging the concerns of those opposed to the pit,  council supported the draft minutes of settlement without much debate.

“We are acknowledging and endorsing the due diligence that went into arriving at the agreement that has been reached between the parties,” said Mayor Andy Lennox, who noted the issue is an important one for residents.

“This will allow the matter to go back before the OMB and allow the OMB to move toward rendering a final decision.”

In addition to the township’s support, the settlement has also been endorsed by the Grand River Conservation Authority.

County council will vote on the issue on June 25.

 If the quarry is approved, the township would receive an annual extraction fee of $60,000 plus about $8,435 in taxes (based on 2014 rates).