An Update on the Illegal Dumpsite Operations in Our Community.
Councillor Phil Bannon
I would like to thank Rick Wigmore and the entire MLRA executive for the inspiring leadership role that you play, providing the residents of Musselman’s Lake with updates on current, ongoing issues that impact our community. I have made every effort over the years to reach out and communicate with the residents of Ward #2. Your support in this effort is much appreciated. I would like to provide you with an update on the Illegal Dumpsite Operations in our community (Ward # 2).
Mr. Paul Bolender owns two properties on Highway 48 (14857 and 14547) which are located between Vandorf Sdrd and Lakeshore Road. The Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville has a Site Alteration/Fill By-law which regulates the removal of topsoil, the placing or dumping of fill and the alteration of the grade of land. Landowners are required to follow the provisions of this By-law, including entering into a site alteration agreement with the Town where greater than 5,000 cubic metres of fill is to be dumped on a property.
The Town does not have a site alteration agreement with Mr. Bolender for either of his two properties on Highway 48. However, the Town has information suggesting that the properties are being used as illegal dumping sites in contravention of not only the Site Alteration By-law but the Zoning By-law as well. As a result, the Town took action to enforce its by-law in a two prong approach:
1. Provincial Offences Court
The Town laid charges in the Provincial Offences Court in respect of these alleged breaches of the Town’s Site Alteration By-law. In response to the charges, Mr. Bolender’s solicitor brought a motion in the Provincial Offences Court requesting the Court declare that the Town breached his client’s rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by carrying out an illegal search and seizure.
The Town had concerns about the nature of material being dumped on the two properties. After providing notice of the Town’s intention and in accordance with its by-law powers, the Town hired a company to enter onto Mr. Bolender’s property at 14857 Highway 48 to conduct soil testing. Mr. Bolender blocked the Town’s access to 14547 Highway 48.
2. Superior Court of Justice
The Town then made an application to the Superior Court of Justice to obtain an injunction against Mr. Bolender requiring him to cease fill operations on both properties, among other things. On July 9th, 2013, the Superior Court of Justice granted the Town an interim injunction preventing any further fill activity on both properties, among other things, pending the Court’s hearing final arguments on the matter. That hearing is scheduled for August 27, 2013.
The injunction proceedings are separate and distinct from the Provincial Offences Court proceedings, and the fact that the Town has gone to the lengths of seeking an injunction is indicative of the gravity of the situation.