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Puslinch still says ‘no’ to more noise studies

by Mike Robinson

ABERFOYLE - Council members here continue to decline a request for additional noise studies for a residential subdivision in Morriston.

As council met on Nov. 21, they once more heard from Morriston resident Jeffrey Blythe with respect to DRS Developments regarding a subdivision currently being built near Queen Street (Highway 6).

Blythe spoke to councillors in early September on the same matter.

On Sept. 5, Blythe also approached council seeking a resolution  regarding a requested sound survey for the DRS Developments near Queen Street - backing onto Highway 6.

Blythe began his Nov. 21 presentation with “... so I appear again ... to address the request for a noise impact study to be done along Queen Street considering the development happening there.”

He said he also spoke on behalf of five residences along Queen Street.

“We did request for an impact study to be done ... it wasn’t just for the placement of the homes, it was also for particular sound sources which may be developed such as sheds placed near the highway, trees and foilage or fencing which may be placed along the highway.”

Blythe stated, “our concerns were not addressed.”

He suggested any ammendment to land use usually triggers a sound survey.

Although requesting the work be done, Blythe said at this point it is not the deveveloper’s responsibility.

“We feel the delinquency of this council in dealing with our request which wasn’t really addressed at all.”

Blythe indicated he was disturbed by news the Morriston bypass could be under review because of the change of provincial government.

“The reality is, if the bypass goes through ... this is a moot issue” as most traffic would be directed away from Morriston.

“We just wanted to make council aware that if it is an ongoing issue for us, it is going to be an ongoing issue for you.”

Councillor Susan Fielding stated she had heard news the Morriston bypass was still a go.

Mayor Dennis Lever noted the item had arose at a previous council session. His understanding is that all MTO projects are under review.

Speaking on behalf of the developer was Rob Stovel who stated in June 2015 there was a public meeting on the application.

He said at the time, a number of issues arose - one of which was the potential impact for noise.

Stovel said a noise consultant was brought in to consider the comments and potential effects on adjacent residents.

That report was submitted to council in August 2015

Subsequently, council reviewed the application as a whole and the development was approval. A draft plan was approved by Wellington County - with conditions.

He said the applicant is working to meet those conditions and construction is now happening on the site.

With regard to potential noise impact, Stovel said the consultant did not agree with residents on the potential for a negative noise impact.

Stovel contended the noise being created in the area is the result of trucks and cars along the highway.

He understood the MTO was still aquiring land for the project.

“It is our understanding the project is moving forward ... and that is the single biggest thing which can reduce noise in the area,” Stovel said.

Fielding agreed that construction of the bypass would address noise concerns in the area.

A building department report was later reviewed by council regarding DRS Developments Limited.

The report stated planning staff was satisfied that the proposed draft plan of subdivision and related zoning revisions were appropriate and in the public interest.

Wellington County planner Sarah Wilhelm clarified that the zoning was already in place for the subdivision in the hamlet residential zoning.

If the landowner wished to put up a fence, it could have been done at any time without any noise attenuation requirements, she stated.

Wilhelm said the source of the noise is the road, not the fences, sheds and other buildings.

She said stationary noise sources would be industrial or commercial buildings.

Wilhelm stated these are compatible land uses.

Staff noted the cost to retain a consultant to complete a noise study could be about $15,000 and would need  to be included in the 2019 capital budget.

Actual costs for a study would be dependent on the scope of the study and quotes recieved to undertake the work.

Council was not supportive of moving ahead with a noise study.

December 7, 2018


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