The expansion would add 189.5 acres to its quarry, with approximately 168.8 acres planned for extraction purposes, directly across the road from their current operation.
The proposed site is habitat to the Bobolink, and has a stand of Butternut trees and a colony of American Hart's Tongue Fern — all of which are endangered.
One member of the three panel board voted no and cited concerns such as:
- aggregate extraction in the Escarpment Rural Area designation of the Niagara Escarpment Plan area is not compatible with the natural environment.
- the application only meets one requirement of the 'three-part' Niagara Escarpment Plan amendment test
- the proposed amendment "not justified, and is not consistent with other relevant provincial policies."
- the use of the property as a quarry could not realistically be called an 'interim use.
A former Ontario Minister of Environment and member of the Clearview Community Coalition said: In all my time in government and as an advocate, the Walker decision caused me the greatest concern for the health of the Niagara Escarpment UNESCO Biosphere Reserve,” said Ruth Grier, “I commend the Commissioners for their vote to defend the Niagara Escarpment, one of Ontario’s truly unique environmental features.”
SO how did Walker Quarry react?
As per usual for the aggregate industry…blame and threaten and whine. Here are some quotes:
Walker Vice President:
"This whole thing just represents more delays," Walker Vice President said. "We are running out of rock (at the existing quarry), and we were down to the fine line where nobody's job would have been at stake.
"The delays are causing uncertainty for our employees and their families… I have to tell them (on Wednesday) what we're trying to do, but I also have to tell them we can't guarantee that they will be working continuously, and that there will be layoffs."
Walker vice-president …was on the road early Wednesday morning to his company's quarry operation, preparing to tell 22 Walker Aggregate employees their jobs were on the line.
Not only has it been expensive to the company, it has also been expensive to taxpayers, and says he couldn't believe the "disregard" for tax dollars. (HUH?)
READ ALL ABOUT IT: