The Citizens Against the Melville Pit (CAMP) has stopped Olympia Sand and Gravel Ltd.’s aggregate plans for at least seven months.
The citizens’ group fighting to stop Olympia’s proposal to operate a 291-acre gravel pit about one km south of Orangeville has been given more time to prepare its case at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).
Heading into a prehearing on Thursday (Dec. 4), Olympia president Larry Pevato had told The Banner results of the preliminary meeting would likely determine how long the OMB case could drag on.
Olympia’s lawyers had urged the OMB to force CAMP to supply much of its material evidence and expert witnesses for the case by Dec. 19.
CAMP, which recently landed the services of Ecojustice lawyer Laura Bowman after its previous legal counsel went off the record last month, argued that wasn’t nearly enough time for those opposing the Melville pit to build such a complex environmental case.
At Thursday’s prehearing, Olympia’s lawyers decided to withdraw their request. The OMB then gave CAMP about seven months to prepare its case, deciding a full hearing on the Melville pit wouldn’t be heard until early July.
“This was a victory for procedural fairness in Ontario Municipal Board proceedings,” Bowman said. “The issues in this case are complex and require time for people to develop and prepare their case just as the company and governments needed time.”
Olympia proposes to extract a maximum of 950,000 tonnes of gravel from a 291-acre piece of land located on Willoughby Road in Caledon, located about one km south of Orangeville.