GORE BAY—A Mindemoya couple has found that for local residents who want to build on their own property, the process may not always be easy when the property is adjacent to an aggregate resources area.
“The reason I’m here is to present the information we discovered in our attempt to get a building permit for our retirement house,” stated Holly Scott, who along with her husband Dale and the couple’s lawyer Brad Allison, met with the Manitoulin Planning Board (MPB) at a recent meeting. She explained that although sand had occasionally been taken from a small sand pit on the neighbouring property, “we never knew that the entire farm had been licenced as an aggregate zone. The municipal zoning maps show it as rural agricultural zone.”
Ms. Scott explained that in, “2007 the Ministry of Natural Resources surveyed the Island pits and quarries across Manitoulin and offered licences, without informing surrounding land owners, and without environmental impact studies. The licenses given were for the largest industrial category, which could include large generators, buildings on site, shifts around the clock, and permission to dig a shocking 30 metres below the water table.”
“Our neighbour, Ralph Morrow, who owned the farm where sand had been extracted, didn’t know that the MNR had surveyed his property twice, nor the nature and impact of the license. The licence on his land was issued to a third party. Adjoining summer residents and the bordering M’Chigeeng First Nation were never informed either.”