Proposed by-law probably the most comprehensive fill by-law which fully protects the rights of residents
By Charlene Jones
New Proposed Fill By-Law in Whitchurch Stouffville to set the Gold Standard for All Ontario
There is a new proposed Fill By-Law before Council which will become the gold standard governing the restoration of old gravel pits back to the way the land used to be or better. This will keep the Ontario landscape from being dotted with big holes left by expired gravel pits.
The Town’s Mike Molinari, Director Of Engineering and Capital Projects has worked very hard with quality fill operators such as United Soils Management to develop probably the most comprehensive fill by-law which fully protects the rights of the residents while giving the Fill Management companies all the rules they must abide by if they are going to operate within our borders.
The new Fill By-Law improves upon the older version in many ways: reduced dust allowance, reduced mud, increased demands for road cleanliness, reduced noise, and increased awareness and protection of the original environmental condition of the land involved.
What does this mean? The Lee Sand and Gravel Pit has closed officially to trucks taking out aggregate. The flow has been reversed. In other words, the trucks you see will be taking fill in not aggregate out. Yes, you read that right: these trucks will be returning the site to it’s original pre 1950 pristine condition all at the expense of the owners of the land.
The new Fill By-Law amendments implement tougher standards involving dust, mud and noise control as well as cleanliness. In addition the By-Law surpasses its previous incarnation in areas of environmental protection.
Concerned about dust? Not with these By-Laws which state the owner of the company hired to rehabilitate the gravel pit bear the responsibility to keep dust at a minimum, to outfit all trucks with double mud mats (that’s twice what the previous By-Law required) to respond to noise with proper controls on trucks and to be responsible for maintaining cleanliness on the road.
That’s good news for home owners near the site as well as for those of us who travel the Ninth Line to leave from or arrive to our homes.
The By-Law additionally insists the site must proactively protect trees, shrubs, swales, watercourses, on and on even to include “overwintering wildlife.” Another amendment involves time. The original law states access to the site runs from 5:30 am to 7pm. The new By-Law changes this in favour of the public such that trucks gain entry from 7 am only until 5pm. The original By-Law outlines a six day work week so Saturday business included trucks up and down the Ninth Line. This new By-Law restricts access to the site on Saturday and all holidays. Residents and businesses close to the site, as well as those of us commuting through the Ninth Line, win!
The improved Fill By-Law signals to owners and the companies they hire, the groundwater must be maintained at the highest levels. The fill must be clean. Noise from trucks must be minimized. Double mud mat protection to our roads falls to the overseer to provide. Strict hours of operation mean no less interruption of our weekends and holidays. Infringements on these or other conditions as set out in the new By-Law result in increased fines to the overseer.
Setting the gold standard for all of Ontario regarding municipal By-Laws on fill and hauling constitutes no small thing. Ontario’s number one industry is the Aggregate Industry. Our By-Law protects the safety, comfort and interests of our residents, but more than this. The new By-Law signals the same level of safety, of comfort and interests of citizens across Ontario! We can take part in the pride of being those who have set a Gold standard.