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Homeowners seek support to protect their water source

To the Editor:
A small group of concerned homeowners strongly opposed to the creation of a pit on Ridge Road, just outside Picton, to excavate aggregate, sand and gravel, seeks help from the community via Go Fund Me to present to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, (LPAT).

A recent land buyer purchased a family-run asparagus farm and applied to County council to change the property’s zoning designation from Agricultural to Aggregate Extractive. The County has approved.

However, the farm resides within a significant groundwater recharge area and is within a Source Protection Zone for drinking water. It is adjacent an Environmental Protected Zone and in a highly vulnerable aquifer.

There is no guarantee water supply and quality will remain. During the drought in 2016, water was being pulled from this aquifer to provide water to our County’s seat, in Picton. This aquifer also supplies water to Waring’s Creek.

An OMB Ruling in 1993 stated a need to undertake cumulative analysis with the other operators prior future extraction or rehabilitation activities. This did not happen.

As such, we are lobbying our governments as we believe all of the above are at risk. We are now gathering ourselves to present to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, LPAT, for the final say in whether this pit will go forward or not. The LPAT hears cases on land use, heritage conservation and municipal governance and if they decide in our favour, there will be no pit.

Our opposition will require considerably more expertise than our group possesses. We will require, at a minimum, a lawyer and a hydro-geologist to engage at the same competitive level that the proponents of this pit already have.

There is something of value in this area, something we cannot let get spoiled by yet another big hole in the ground, destructive to the local ecosystem and our very way of life.

We are looking for support to help fund our opposition. Will you help? If this is something you cannot do, please talk about this to family and friends.

If you can help, please visit our GOFUNDME page.

Don’t forget all of the water issues we have seen recently: Sandy Hook development, campground quarry, Picton Terminals – multiple issues; record water drought – 2016 and droughts in 2012 and 2020, etc.

Any questions, please get in touch.

John McKinnon

Filed Under: Letters and OpinionNews from Everywhere Else

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  1. Hello again. I would like to again thank County Live for posting this letter.
    We have now reached donations of $5275 from you and I think donors need to applauded. We now have 17 shares on our website page and 76 shares from those concerned.
    We sure could use more as we are starting to get the bills in from our professionals.
    We meet with the LPAT Tribunal again Wednesday, March 31,
    2021 at 10 a.m. Donations are still welcomed.
    Thanks for your support!

  2. John McKinnon says:

    The desire of the group is to have the farm stay agricultural. We had better than a hundred letters signed opposing the change. We did lobby the Council. It went on for the better part of two years. The Council voted unanimously to allow a zoning amendment to convert from Agricultural to Aggregate. This is what has pushed this up the ladder to LPAT and why we are requesting donations as we now have to pay for expert help.

  3. Mike Barnes says:

    What is the desired result of the group? Are you requesting that the land stay agricultural? I find it hard to believe this would have gotten approved under the new Official Plan given all the talk last night about preserving farm land.

  4. Michelle says:

    Just how many flooded sand pits on Ridge Rd do we need? What happened to the one the County paid one or two million for? Something about replacing an asparagus farm for a sand pit does not seem to fit with the Countys vision.

  5. John McKinnon says:

    Thanks for replying to this, Teena. I cannot speak to the various accommodations, however, I am happy to hear your statement about another aggregate pit.
    Kind regards,

  6. Ig says:

    We’re also residents of The County and we support conforming accommodation providers and businesses of all kinds. Having said this that’s not to say that proper evaluation of proposals as they relate to applicable bylaws and environmental concerns shouldn’t be undertaken first – this is our council’s job and as far as I can tell that is what already happens.

  7. Teena says:

    I strongly suspect that The County can do without another aggregate pit (“eye sore”), Nor do we require an increase of STA’s, B&B’s(“AIR” or otherwise). Will someone in Council please get the priorities right for those of us who live here.

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