At least one Puslinch councillor was surprised the proponents did not have zoning maps at a public meeting for a proposed Roszell Road gravel pit on March 18, but Mayor Brad Whitcombe said the meeting served its purpose regardless.
Councillor Matthew Bulmer told council the oversight by Preston Sand and Gravel representatives “boggled my mind.”
Whitcombe however, said the “gaps in information” helped reveal that problems with the application need to be addressed.
“We’re only part way through the process,” despite what Preston representative Sherry Yundt would like to think, Whitcombe said.
Councillor Dick Visser agreed, and said Yundt “didn’t do herself any favours” when she spoke out and assumed the matter was going to the Ontario Municipal Board.
Visser also stated that despite some complaints to the contrary at the meeting, Puslinch council is not just “rolling over” for gravel companies.
The township has dealt with the gravel industry for over 30 years, he added, and the township has put a lot of restrictions in place.
Whitcombe said, “I think this council is fighting a very valiant fight,” by trying to respect the environment as well as the concerns of residents, all the while ensuring the township conforms to provincial policy.
He said the peer review process “was pretty much invented in Puslinch,” and the township is as rigorous as any municipality in the province when it comes to requirements for aggregate companies.
Visser said residents need to understand councillors cannot be cheerleaders for either side, and noted that residents will be in for quite a shock if the case does go to the OMB and they see how that process goes.
But Visser did add that he is concerned about residents living on Concession 4 and what they will have to deal with if the pit is eventually approved some day.
Councillor Susan Fielding said she understands the concerns of residents, but some people do not comprehend the process, and simply demand the township “just say no.”
Councillor Don McKay agreed, and said residents need to know the township is doing everything it can to address their concerns.