Tues., Jan. 22 is the appeal deadline date re: plans for a waste facility in the Freele Forest.
In a Facebook post Jan. 15, Friends of Simcoe Forests said:
"On January 2, 2019 the Ministry of Municipal Affairs approved the County Official Plan Amendment (OPA) to build the Environmental Resource Recovery Centre (ERRC) in the Freele Forest on Horseshoe Valley Road. The deadline to appeal this decision is January 22, 2019. It is our understanding that the Municipality of Springwater will not be appealing this decision to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).
"Below is the link for the Springwater Council meeting from January 9, 2019 in which the new Springwater Council members and staff discussed the ERRC including next steps.
"With the Jan. 22 appeal deadline date fast approaching, the Friends of Simcoe Forests Inc. and our supporters need to make an informed decision based on what our strongest position is at this point. An appeal could prove to be an expensive proposition to pay for the professionals necessary to represent the interests of our group and our supporters.
"We need to consider whether to appeal the County OPA to the LPAT or focus our next steps on working with Springwater through the zoning process ensuring concerns are identified and addressed. i.e. fire concerns, ground water contamination, wildlife loss of habitat, traffic, construction, financial impact on tax payers and the Municipality. It is our understanding that Springwater intends to place a site HOLD on the property which would prevent development until a number of conditions stipulated by Springwater have been met.
Simcoe County’s position, set out in an email to Lake Simcoe Living, is that ‘this is an important and vital project for the County. It will allow us to expand and grow our green bin program and reduce our reliance on landfills and haulage of organics to other jurisdictions (cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions). The end product from the organics processing side will also produce local compost and fertilizer - the true from farm to table to green bin and back to soil concept.
"The site at 2976 Horseshoe Valley Road West, Springwater:
• Is centralized with close and convenient access to major highways and transportation networks
• As this is a rural area, the location provides good buffer distances to mitigate potential impacts such as odour and noise, and provides visual screening of the facility for nearby neighbours (approximately 95% of the existing forest to remain on the site surrounding the facility)
• More than 15 site-specific studies have been completed to-date – confirming the excellent site conditions
• The facility will only take up 5% of a 207 acre forest. The rest of the trees on the property will remain on the site untouched and the County is compensating with reforestation at a 2:1 ratio at other locations as part of the terms in the provincial approval granted.”
Image Courtesy County of Simcoe