May 14, 2017
David Pink, Director of Planning
Township of Muskoka Lakes
P.O. Box 129 Bailey St
Port Carling, Ontario P0B 1J0
RE: Proposed Official Plan Amendment No. 46 Zoning By-Law Amendment 2017-51, ZBA 13/12 Proposed Lippa Pit and Quarry
Hello Mr. Pink,
I am writing to express my opposition to the Lippa Pit and Quarry on Butler Mill Rd. I oppose rezoning my neighbourhood for extraction.
We live on Aspdin Rd. For 7 months a year I can see up Butler Mill Rd from inside my home, and the northeast corner of my front yard is at the intersection of Butler Mill Rd and Aspdin Rd. The heavy use of this intersection by a large number of trucks will severely devalue my property by presenting health, safety, and noise concerns. Trucks screeching to stop or slowing to turn as well as accelerating up the hills will spew diesel exhaust, clutch and brake lining material (asbestos) and raise silica dust. There are about a dozen children within a mile of this intersection. We use Aspdin Rd and Butler Mill Rd recreationally for walking and cycling, but this will end when an average of 150 additional truck trips daily pass through it.
The Township of Muskoka Lakes Strategic Plan states as a goal to “decrease noise and light pollution.” Running a rock crusher, heavy equipment, blasting, and thousands more heavy truck trips less than 2km from Skeleton Lake (and even closer to Mud Lake and Lambert’s Lake) would defeat that goal. No sound attenuation berm can effectively protect “Muskoka’s natural and unspoiled beauty”. Berms tend to work acceptably in noisy urban settings but not in quiet natural habitats.
It also states it will “educate public on the importance of maintaining water quality”, yet the quarry will be blasting, removing rock, and running heavy extractive equipment on the watershed between Lake Rosseau and Skeleton Lake, with the real possibility of negative effects on both, deeply conflicting with the the stated goal to “build on current efforts to protect and promote the health of the environment and waterways”
The “long term Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan” is not consistent with running many extra trucks on Aspdin Rd… although marketed as a nice cycle route it will be rather un-scenic and unsafe with extra dump trucks on this narrow, winding road without paved shoulders.
The plan also states as a goal a “year round economic strategy” which is not consistent with pit and quarry operations. Our winter weather is too severe for pits and quarries to be significant year-round employers or year round license-fee-generators.
The township states “We accept responsibility for decisions and actions” , but what will this look like in regards to the pit and quarry? If roads degrade, will the township take responsibility? If safety on the only possible haul route is compromised by unsafe passing of slow trucks, will the the township accept responsibility? When trucks leak and crash and close the main artery from Parry Sound and Rosseau to Huntsville, stopping residents from getting to work and children from going to school, will the township accept responsibility? When wells go dry or homeowners stop improving properties because this becomes a dirty industrial area, will the township accept responsibility? If every homeowner affected by the Lippa Pit and Quarry pays lower property taxes (than they would without an extra quarry) over decades what will that look like for the Township? The consulting agencies that published the proposals on behalf of Frank Lippa take no responsibility, and I invite you to find relevant evidence in the many pages of their reports showing why this neighbourhood should be rezoned.
Please consider carefully your political, professional, and ethical legacy. Will your names be remembered as protecting Muskoka or as looking to make a quick buck on ($0.0006 per ton) license fees? I realize this issue will probably go to the provincial level, but your support of our community and environment will be remembered. Please also consider this Ontario policy document No: A.R. 4.00.03 http://files.ontario.ca/environment-and-energy/aggregates/269321.pdf section h) ” If the access is onto municipal roads, approval must also be granted by the municipality via an entrance permit before the aggregate permit is issued. ”