Public meeting for second 26/27 Sideroad application
As a result of additional wetlands being identified on a portion of Sideroad 26/27, the Township of Clearview has filed a second Niagara Escarpment Plan (NEP) amendment application.
“We’ve asked for an amendment to the plan to deal with our needs to do some work on the wetlands,” said Clearview’s CAO Steve Sage, who is named as the agent on the application.
It is supplemental to an ongoing appeal of the Niagara Escarpment Commission’s (NEC) decision not to deny a development permit.
An NEC staff report outlines some of the file’s history: A 2014 Joint Board decision granted approval to expand Walker Aggregates’ Duntroon quarry. Under that decision, some of the parties to the hearing (Township of Clearview, Walker Aggregates and the County of Simcoe) were directed to enter into a Road Improvement Agreement to close a portion of County Road 91 in order to expand the quarry, and to make improvements to Sideroad 26/27 to make it an all-season road to replace the county road.
The expansion of Sideroad 26/27 is the subject of a development permit application, which was refused by the NEC in November 2015, and has since been appealed. During the appeal process, additional environmental work undertaken by consultants on behalf of the township identified that certain aspects of the road works would result in the removal of 1.2 ha of natural heritage and key hydrologic features within the existing right of way. This was not known when the amendment was originally submitted.
The township requested an adjournment of the hearing since the policies of the NEP in 2016 prohibited development in wetlands. The Township indicated to the Hearing Officers at a pre-hearing conference in 2016 that the basis for the adjournment was that it would be making an application to amend the NEP.
Sage said parties are waiting to be notified if a hearing date will be set.
“I would hope that we have a decision in 2019,” he said.
The application would allow the township to improve the existing road to make it suitable for year-round use and make other road improvements notwithstanding policies in the NEP, which require the consideration of alternatives to the development of infrastructure in wetlands, key natural heritage features and Escarpment Natural Areas.
Clearview council decided to appeal the Niagara Escarpment Commission’s decision to deny the township permission to reconstruct Sideroad 26/27 from the 10th Concession to Grey Road 31 based on a “strong recommendation” from its solicitors at Barriston Law.
A public information meeting will be held Wednesday, May 8 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in council chambers at the Township of Clearview Administration Centre, located at 217 Gideon St. in Stayner.