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Highland Companies formally withdraws Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments

The Highland Companies Withdraws its Application for a Quarry in Melancthon Township

MELANCTHON TOWNSHIP, November 21, 2012 -- The Highland Companies (Highland) announced today that it is withdrawing its application to develop a quarry in Melancthon Township. Highland also intends to discontinue its efforts to restore the rail corridor through Dufferin County. In addition, Highland announced that John Lowndes has resigned from his role as President and has no further involvement with the company
“While we believe that the quarry would have brought significant economic benefit to Melancthon Township and served Ontario’s well-documented need for aggregate, we acknowledge that the application does not have sufficient support from the community and government to justify proceeding with the approval process,” said John Scherer of The Highland Companies.

Highland will continue to focus on its farms and on supplying its customers with high quality potatoes and other crops. The company is proud of the improvements it has made through modernizing equipment and storage facilities as well as enhancing food and worker safety.

The Highland Companies Delegation - Powerpoint Presentation
Council Meeting - February 2, 2012
- Click Here

- Click Here

- Click Here

At the meeting of Council held on July 7, 2011, the Council of the Township of Melancthon passed a resolution to request the Ministry of the Environment conduct a Full Environmental Assessment of the Highland Companies Quarry Application as follows:

Moved by Elliott, Seconded by Crowe:

Be it resolved that:

“Whereas the Highland Companies has filed an application for an aggregate license with the Ministry of Natural Resources and an Official Plan Amendment and Zoning Bylaw Amendment with the Township of Melancthon to develop a 2316 Acre below the water table limestone quarry,

And whereas the documents accompanying the application indicate the facility will operate 365 days per year, 24 hours per day with blasting occurring every day except Sunday and statutory holidays,

And whereas the documents also indicate there would be as many as three hundred trucks per hour on the County and Township roads that currently transport our children on school busses,

And whereas there are many families and businesses along the proposed haul routes that will be impacted by this increased traffic,

And whereas the Township is at the headwaters of five rivers in two Conservation Areas affecting over one million people in Ontario,

And whereas the proposed quarry is reported to be the largest of its kind in Canada and second largest in North America,

And whereas there is potential to have negative impacts on the Township, County and Provincial water resources,

And whereas there is potential for severe change to the health and safety plus social, economic well- being, of the citizens of the Township,

And whereas there is potential for negative impacts on wild life, aquatic, flora and fauna and class one farm land in the Township,

Therefore be it resolved that given the scope of this project and the potential impacts on the citizens of the area and population of the Province at large, The Council of the Corporation of the Township of Melancthon requests the Ministry of the Environment to conduct a full environmental assessment of this application.

Further that a copy of this resolution be filed at the EBR website and directed to Premier McGuinty, The Minister of the Environment, The Minister of Natural Resources, The Federal Minister of the Environment, MP David Tilson and MPP Sylvia Jones.”

Recorded Vote
Mayor Hill - Yea
Deputy Mayor White - Absent
Councillor Crowe - Yea
Councillor Elliott - Yea
Councillor Malek - Absent

Mayor Hill's Report on the Extension Request for The Highland Companies
(given at the May 5, 2011 Council Meeting) - Click Here

List of Supporters to Melancthon's Resolution
for a 120 Day Extension to the ARA
- Click Here

Application for Zoning By-law Amendment - Click Here

Application for an Official Plan Amendment - Click Here


submitted by 3191574 Nova Scotia Company doing
business as The Highland Companies- Click Here

Presentations of Mayor Hill and Deputy Mayor White
made at the March 26, 2011 Information Session - Click Here

Agenda for the Public Information Session
Saturday, March 26, 2011 - 9:00 am - 10:30 am. - Click Here


Council will be holding a Public Information Session with respect to the processing of the applications filed by The Highland Companies for an Amendment to the Official Plan and the Zoning By-law for a 2,316 acre quarry on Saturday, March 26, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. at the Honeywood Arena - Upstairs.

Letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty from Mayor Hill regarding Mayor Hill and Deputy Mayor White's ROMA/OGRA Delegation with Minister Linda Jeffrey, Ministry of Natural Resources and the Highland Companies Applications. Click here.

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 4, 2011, 3191574 Nova Scotia Company doing business as The Highlands Companies filed an Application for an Official Plan Amendment and an Application for a Zoning By-law Amendment on Part of Lots 18-23, Concession 1 OS, Part of Lots 18 and 19, Concession 2 OS, Part of Lots 17 to 21, Concession 3 OS, Part of Original Road Allowance between Lots 20 and 21, Concession 3 OS and Part of Lots 16 to 19, Concession 4 OS.   Total Lot Area:  937.1 Ha (2,316 Acres).

The Application for an Official Plan Amendment is to “redesignate the subject lands to Industrial Uses with Special Provisions to allow for the development of the lands for aggregated extraction and associated accessory uses and the continuation of agricultural uses”.  The application for a Zoning By-law Amendment is to “permit aggregate extraction including accessory uses and the continuation of agricultural uses.”

In keeping with Council's intent to provide full public involvement concerning these applications and the proposed quarry, the Township is working toward scheduling a Public Information Session on either Saturday, March 26, 2011 or Saturday, April 2, 2011 (in the morning) at the Honeywood Arena.  More details to follow.

Although the applications must be reviewed for completeness, they will be posted on the Township's web site as soon as possible, along with all the related background studies submitted by the applicant. A copy of all materials will also be available for review in the Township office.

At the meeting of Council held on March 3, 2011, the CAO reported that she had received a call on March 2, 2011 from the Representative of the Highlands Companies who wanted the Township to hear first from the Company that the ARA application has been commenced and the application has been deemed complete by the Ministry of Natural Resources.  One of the requirements under the ARA process deals with public notification process and the Representative advised that registered letters have been sent out to the property owners in the license area. The Township has been copied on this information.  The consultation process will start in the next two weeks with ads being printed in the local papers and signage appearing on the property.  It was advised that the other information and reports will be delivered to the Stakeholders, Agencies and Ministries in the next couple days.  The Township will also receive a copy of this package and to be included in that package will be the application for the Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment.   The Horning’s Mills Community Hall has been booked for a Public Information Session under the ARA process on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.  It has been advised that Mr. Daniher and or the Highlands Companies will be keeping the Township informed as events unfold.

OCTOBER 5, 2009

  1. Please outline or identify which of the applicant’s consultants’ and other reports Council intends to have peer reviewed?  A - Those that are deemed necessary by our experts.

  2. What process does Council go through in order to select peer review consultants?  A - We have our experts and they have either arranged for their extra people or “short listed “ them.  Decisions cannot be made until we know who the applicant has employed as there cannot be a conflict of interest.

  3. Does Melancthon have the necessary Official Plan and by-law provisions in place in order to ensure that it can require the necessary peer reviews at the applicant’s expense?  A - Yes.

  4. Does Council intend to engage consultants to undertake its own independent studies on surface and ground water impact (among other things), as opposed to only peer reviewing studies the applicant’s studies?  If so, do we have a fee by-law in place, as is permitted under the Planning Act, in order to ensure that these studies are paid for by the applicant?  A - Peer reviews are the “normal” practice and unless through the process “special” or more detailed studies are deemed necessary by our experts, peer reviews will be conducted.  If studies are deemed necessary the cost would be the responsibility of the applicant as outlined in By-law 8-2007 and the application.

  5. Will the Township, the Ministry of Environment or any other governmental agency, be implementing a process to assist residents and agricultural businesses to test their wells to establish an existing baseline for water quality, quantity, levels and flow?  A - Yes.

  6. Given the massive size of this quarry application, what steps can be taken by a member of the public, or governmental body, to require that this be elevated to a full environmental assessment to?  A - We will investigate and respond as soon as we get the answer and post it on our website under “Quarry Update”.

  7. Please identify all of the Provincial and Federal legislation, to protect our water resources that will apply to this application.  A - The Planning Act, The Aggregate Resources Act and the Provincial Policy Statement and the Township’s Official Plan.

  8. Will the Town of Shelburne be consulted with as it pertains to the quality of their water supply?  A - They will be notified as part of the process.  We are aware that they have requested information and other details from the NVCA.  There has been no “direct” contact at this time.

  9. Does either Council or the Provincial government intend to seek input for all municipalities affected by the Nottawasaga and Grand River Watersheds?  A - There will be an extensive consultation process but we cannot at this time comment on whether “all municipalities affected by the Nottawasaga and Grand River watersheds” will be contacted.

  10. Do the Ministry of Environment and Council and/or the NVCA intend to implement any of the recommendations outlined in the AEMOT Study?  A - As we have stated before,  mapping and some parts of the AEMOT study are referenced in the draft official plan.  You will have to direct the question to the other authorities as we cannot answer for them.