Huntsville Doppler, APRIL 9, 2018
Oppostion to Muskoka-area quarries garners national attention
https://doppleronline.ca/huntsville/opposition-to-muskoka-area-quarries-garners-national-attention/

Cottage Life Magazine, APRIL 6, 2018
Cottagers and locals unite against Skeleton Lake quarry
https://cottagelife.com/outdoors/cottagers-and-locals-unite-against-skeleton-lake-quarry/

The Globe and Mail, APRIL 1, 2018
Residents, cottagers in Ontario’s Muskoka region fight quarry proposal near unique Skeleton Lake
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-residents-cottagers-in-ontarios-muskoka-region-fight-quarry-proposal/

VIDEO:  Muskoka Lakes council vote against proposed quarry – CogecoTV Muskoka
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMlFCG3aeQQ

Quarry reps mum on possibility of OMB appeal to Muskoka Lakes vote – Bracebridge Examiner
https://www.muskokaregion.com/news-story/7377767-quarry-reps-mum-on-possibility-of-omb-appeal-to-muskoka-lakes-vote/

Muskoka Lakes council rejects proposed quarry rezoning, amendment – Bracebridge Examiner
https://www.parrysound.com/community-story/7376565-muskoka-lakes-council-rejects-proposed-quarry-rezoning-amendment/

Proposed Lippa Quarry project shut down following heavy public opposition – My Muskoka Now 
http://www.mymuskokanow.com/60942/proposed-lippa-quarry-project-shut-following-heavy-public-opposition/

Stop Muskoka Pit group wants your support at council meeting on Friday – Doppler Online
https://doppleronline.ca/huntsville/stop-lippa-pit-and-quarry/

Proposed stone quarry in Muskoka Lakes raises eyebrows, says ex-councillor – Bracebridge Examiner 
https://www.muskokaregion.com/opinion-story/7354241-proposed-stone-quarry-in-muskoka-lakes-raises-eyebrows-says-ex-councillor/

Skeleton Lake quarry ‘could be a disaster,’ says nature columnist – Huntsville Forester
https://www.muskokaregion.com/opinion-story/7323257-skeleton-lake-quarry-could-be-a-disaster-says-natural-columnist/

Muskoka Lakes resident fighting proposed quarry just south of Seguin – Parry Sound North Star
https://www.parrysound.com/news-story/7289779-muskoka-lakes-resident-fighting-proposed-quarry-just-south-of-seguin/

 

 

January 18, 2018

To: SLCO Members

Re:  Status Update #2 – Proposed Lippa Pit and Quarry

With 2018 underway, I wanted to send you an update on the actions the SLCO Board and our lawyer, David Donnelly, have taken with respect to opposing the proposed Lippa pit and quarry.

We have retained a number of experts to help us prepare our case for the OMB hearing.  We have already received a preliminary report from a traffic safety expert, who has identified a number of issues that would arise on Aspdin Road as a result of the heavy truck traffic that would be generated by the quarry operations.

We are also meeting this week with David Pink, Director of Planning for the Township of Muskoka Lakes.  As you know, Township Council unanimously rejected Lippa’s re-zoning application for the quarry, and we are working with David to co-ordinate our opposition.  

A reminder that a pre-hearing conference will be held on Wednesday, February 21, 2018.  The purpose of this conference is to determine the issues, parties, and participants prior to the actual Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing, which is expected to take place later this year or early 2019.  As David has advised, a strong turnout from residents and cottagers who are opposed to the proposed pit and quarry is important at the pre-hearing conference.  Thus, please mark Wednesday, February 21, at 10:00 am at the Township of Muskoka Lakes Council Chambers in Port Carling on your calendar, and plan to attend if possible. 

In the interim, we encourage all members to go to the SMP website (stopmuskokapit.ca) and sign the petition opposing the Lippa quarry.  The petition represents the voice of many in the community.  There are now almost 2,000 signatures on it!

As communicated last month, SLCO has sufficient funds to meet both the legal and expert costs it is currently incurring, up until the pre-hearing conference.  However, substantial additional monies will be required if we are to succeed at the subsequent OMB hearing.  Our intention is to launch a fundraising effort over the next few months. 

We will continue to keep you informed on this important issue.  We appreciate your ongoing support as we work hard to keep Skeleton Lake the special place we all enjoy.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Sincerely,

Scott May, President

Skeleton Lake Cottagers Organization

e:   scott@skeletonlake.ca

c:   416 559 2839

 

 

December 17, 2017

To:  SLCO Members

Re:  Status Update of Proposed Lippa Pit and Quarry

A brief note to keep you informed on the status of the proposed Lippa pit and quarry:

As many of you are aware, SLCO and the “Stop Muskoka Pit” group have been working together to oppose a 200,000 tonne/year pit and quarry that Frank Lippa is proposing to develop at a site 1.7 km from Skeleton Lake.  In June of this year, the Township of Muskoka Lakes Council voted unanimously to deny Mr. Lippa’s rezoning application, in response to concerns raised about the impaired water quality, noise, and traffic that would result from such an operation.  Mr. Lippa subsequently filed an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).  In response, SLCO has retained external counsel (David Donnelly) and various experts to assist us in opposing Mr. Lippa’s appeal.

Last week, we received some new information about the OMB Lippa appeal hearing.  Specifically, a pre-hearing conference will be held on Wednesday, February 21.  The purpose of this conference is to determine the issues, parties, and participants prior to the actual OMB hearing, which is expected to take place next summer.  As David advises, a strong turnout from residents and cottagers who are opposed to the proposed quarry will be important at the pre-hearing conference.  Thus, please mark Wednesday, February 21, 10:00 am at the Township of Muskoka Lakes Council Chambers in Port Carling on your calendar, and plan to attend if possible. 

Fortunately, SLCO has sufficient funds on hand to meet the legal and expert costs it is incurring, up until the pre-hearing conference.  However, substantial additional monies will be needed if we are to mount a successful opposition at the subsequent OMB hearing.  Our intention is to launch a significant fundraising effort in the New Year. 

We will continue to keep you informed on this matter, and are confident of your ongoing support as we fight to maintain the pristine water, along with the peace and quiet, that are so central to our enjoyment of Skeleton Lake.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Sincerely,

Scott May, President

Skeleton Lake Cottagers Organization

e:   scott@skeletonlake.ca

c:   416 559 2839

 

 

On July 10,  the SLCO’s legal council, Donnelly Law, filed an official Letter of Objection with the MNRF calling on them to reject the application by Mr. Frank Lippa for a Class “A” License to operate a pit and quarry on Butler Mill Rd.  

You can read the Letter of Objection in its entirety here:  2017 07 10 Ltr from Donnelly Law re Objection to Lippa Pit.pdf

 

 

MNRF objection letters are to be sent to both addresses or emails below by July 10, 2017.

Objection letters must contain the objector’s complete postal mailing address where a response can be delivered, or the objections will not be considered acceptable.

You may wish to reference Technical Reports filed with ToML:
http://stopmuskokapit.ca/reports/technical-reports-documents-for-lippa-pit-and-quarry/

 

Addresses for Objection Letters:

The Applicant:
Frank and Elizabeth Lippa
c/o Skelton Brumwell & Associates Inc.
93 Bell Farm Road, Suite 107
Barrie, Ontario
L4M 5G1

Attention: Caitlin Port, RPP
e-mail: cport@skeltonbrumwell.ca

MNRF:
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Parry Sound District, Bracebridge Field office
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
1350 High Falls Road,
Bracebridge, ON, P1L 1W9

Attention: Jeff Schosser, Aggregates Inspector/Specialist
e-mail: MNRF.BRA@Ontario.ca

 

Aggregate Resources Act
Form 1 – Notice of Application for a Licence

Frank and Elizabeth Lippa of 17 Haas Road, Etobicoe, Ontario, M9W 3A1, hereby gives notice that an application has been made for a Category 1 & 2, Class ‘A’ Licence, to excavate aggregate from a pit and quarry (below the established water table) of 54.8 hectares (135.4 acres), located in :

1089 Butler Mill Road, Rosseau, ON
North Half of Lot 4 and Part of Lots 4 and 3, Concession 4, Geographic Township of Cardwell,
Township of Muskoka Lakes, District of Municipality of Muskoka

This application is for a new pit and quarry. The Annual Tonnage Condition applied for is 200, 000 tonnes.

A detailed site plan and reports for the proposal may be examined at the Township of Muskoka Lakes or at the Bracebridge Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry office.

Any person(s) wishing to object to this application must send, in writing, their objection with reason(s) to the Applicant and the local office of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry at the addresses below. Note: E-mail submissions are acceptable; however they must contain the objector’s complete postal mailing address where a response can be delivered. E-mail objections which do not contain a postal address will not be considered acceptable.

The Applicant:
Frank and Elizabeth Lippa
c/o Skelton Brumwell & Associates Inc.
93 Bell Farm Road, Suite 107
Barrie, Ontario
L4M 5G1

Attention: Caitlin Port, RPP
e-mail: cport@skeltonbrumwell.ca

MNRF:
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Parry Sound District, Bracebridge Field office
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
1350 High Falls Road,
Bracebridge, ON, P1L 1W9

Attention: Jeff Schosser, Aggregates Inspector/Specialist
e-mail: MNRF.BRA@Ontario.ca

The last day on which objections may be filled with the Applicant and the Ministry is the 10th day of July 2017.

Note: All information in respect to this application including written support or objections, the names and address of any objector(s) is available for public review for the purpose of this application under the Aggregate Resources Act. In submitting a written objection an objector consents under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to its disclosure for the purposes of the application.

 

 

Following is a letter from the directors of the Rosseau Farmers’ Market. It was sent to all vendors (about 150) and this letter has been forwarded to the mayor and council.

 

On June 16th at Port Carling, Mr. Frank Lippa, is going to apply to the council of the Township of Muskoka Lakes for permission to open a rock/gravel quarry and pit on Butler Mill Road. This operation would take 200,000 tonnes of material out of the pit annually. If this application is approved by the council of the Township of Muskoka Lakes, it would mean more than 100 heavy gravel trucks a day on Aspdin Road, (one every 4 1/2 minutes). Some of them would be going east to Huntsville, some would be going west to Rosseau.

One major concern is for the safety of vehicles, pedestrian and bicyclers on the roads. Heavy gravel trucks are not able to stop on a dime. School buses that are stopped on the road would not have a chance if a gravel truck came around a corner and was not able to stop. There are already too many heavy trucks using this road on a daily basis, such as logging trucks, Muskoka Containerized Services trucks, Panolam trucks, Hutcheson Sand and and Gravel pit trucks, to name a few that use this road. Aspdin Road is not a provincial road and was not built for such heavy traffic, and extra 100 trucks a day would wreak havoc with the road, with visitors, with residents and with the wild life.

Residents, through their taxes, would have to foot the bill for repairs to the road and would have to live with the dangers of living on a road with such heavy truck traffic. Not acceptable.

Another major concern is that this pit will be operating below the water table. The water and the pollution from that operation will flow into Skeleton Lake and then on to Lakes Rosseau, Muskoka and Joe. This is simply not acceptable.

It is the belief of the directors of the Rosseau Farmers’ Market that this amount of heavy truck traffic will pose a serious risk to pedestrians in the village of Rosseau. The major economic engine in Muskoka is tourism. Rosseau Farmers’ Market draws an average of 3000 visitors on market days. The market is located on highway 141, which is the road that those huge gravel trucks would use. As it is, Rosseau has very heavy traffic congestion on market days. It is our belief that additional heavy truck traffic would result in accidents and deaths. We very strongly urge the Township of Muskoka lakes to deny this application.

The directors of the Rosseau Farmers’ Market.

 

 

May 17, 2017

Mr. Donald Furniss
Mayor, Township of Muskoka Lakes
1208 Beaumaris Road
Beaumaris, ON
P1L 1 W8

Re: Proposed Official Plan Amendment No. 46
Zoning By-Law Amendment 2017-51, ZBA 13/12
Proposed Lippa Pit and Quarry

Dear Mayor Furniss:

I am writing regarding the proposal to amend the Official Plan and Zoning By-law related to the Lippa Pit and Quarry application to rezone from Rural to Rural Industrial that will be considered by Council at its June 16, 2017 meeting. This letter is to express my strong opposition to that rezoning application.

Personal Impact
In 1974 I purchased the Burwash Schoolhouse built by Arthur Middlebrook Senior in 1896. At 1002 Tribble Road, it sits on almost an acre of Lot 6 Concession 4 (See attached map). As you can see from the attached map, my property is at the corner of the Aspdin Road and Tribble Road, just kitty corner from where Butler Mill Road meets the Aspdin Road. Not surprisingly, my quality of life, health and the peaceful enjoyment of my property in the beautiful Muskoka woods would be devastatingly affected were the pit and quarry proposed by Mr. Lippa allowed to operate out of 1089 Butler Mill Road, north-east of Aspdin Road.

Over the years I have worked hard to maintain and improve the building and property, such that it has been recognized as one of the few remaining log schoolhouses in Muskoka still intact and in pristine condition, as recognized in the book Schoolhouses in Muskoka. While I live in Toronto, I currently spend long periods of time each season in my Muskoka home. Should this proposed pit and quarry be approved, I would not only suffer a reduction in the value of my property but I would no longer be able to spend time here.

Noise and Air Quality
As a senior I am very concerned about the negative impact on air quality from the dust pollution that is integrally connected with this type of industry. The quality and purity of the air in Muskoka has always been a key factor in my love of the area and the reason so many tourists want to visit it. As well, the noise and vibration from heavy truck traffic potentially carrying the annual extraction of 200,000 tonnes of sand, gravel and bedrock, on average 150 trucks per day at capacity, 7 days a week from early in the morning till 9:00 at night, as well as the additional noise from blasting, would make life there impossible. With 80% of the annual tonnage shipped from June 1st to November 30th the tranquillity and beauty of the lovely summer and fall months would be destroyed, not just for me, but for all the residents and tourists who come to this part of Muskoka, particularly during these months. As well, this dramatic increase in traffic from the number of haulage trucks will seriously degrade both roads, and as Muskoka taxpayers we will all have to pay more for their upkeep.

Health and Safety
Safety is also a key consideration for me, in my opposition to the proposed pit and quarry. Like my neighbours (there are 20 homes within 1 kilometre), I go for regular walks on both the Aspdin and Butler Mill Roads. If, as estimated, one truck will leave the quarry every 4.4 minutes, it will no longer be safe to walk on the roads closest to my property. The Aspdin Road is a very scenic route used by cyclists, school buses, mail deliverers and pedestrians. It has many hills, curves, blind corners and hidden driveways that can make it a challenge to navigate at the best of times. This much additional truck traffic will pose a real danger to public safety and a deterrent to tourism in this area. Additionally, the increase in pollution from haulage trucks and from particulate matter from resource extraction will be a major environmental and health risk to those of us (humans and animals) having to breathe these toxic fumes on a daily basis.

Water
Like other residents of this area, I get my water from a well, and am thus very concerned about the potential danger of contamination of ground and surface water caused by blasting, hauling and other operations. As well, the land for the proposed quarry sits within the watershed of Skeleton Lake, a lake known for recreation and tourism. Streams that originate in ponds on the property of this proposed pit and quarry will ultimately end in Skeleton Lake, seriously threaten the health of the lake and destroy wildlife habitat.

Wildlife
It is not just humans who would be adversely affected if this proposal is approved. The proposed quarry would sit on land that is habitat for a wide variety of wildlife whose lives would be greatly disturbed by such an invasion. Over the many years that I have walked down Butler Mill Road and to the old mill which is on the site of the proposed quarry, I have seen moose, deer, bears, foxes, mink, beaver, and porcupines. The land of the proposed quarry is also home to many species of birds, including some of special concern such as the Eastern Wood Pewee and the Wood Thrush, and is the wintering grounds for the Snapping Turtle, a species to which the provincial government recently extended additional protection by banning hunting of the species.

Conclusion
Short term economic gains from resource extraction should not be allowed to cause permanent harm to residents, wildlife and the local tourism industry which employs many people in Muskoka directly and indirectly. In the past Council served notice to the public, the District of Muskoka and the Province of Ontario that it would consider “the preservation and enhancement of the natural environment of the Township in matters which come before it”. Today’s Council has committed to creating “a diverse community, where generations interact with nature, recreation, history and tourism: to respect, maintain and enhance OUR MUSKOKA.”

Please uphold this vision and commitment and help us keep the Aspdin area and Skeleton Lake home to a safe, healthy and diverse ecosystem by denying this application. Please don’t make a decision that will adversely affect the beautiful natural tourist attraction that this area of our Muskoka is.

Regards,

Maureen Edgar

 

Scott May, President of the Skeleton Lake Cottagers Organization (SLCO), sent the letter below to the Township of Muskoka Lakes (ToML) Planning Director, David Pink, registering it’s opposition to an application by Mr. Frank Lippa to create a large pit and quarry operation on Butler Mill Rd, just north of Skeleton Lake off of Aspdin Rd.

The SLCO feels the proposal, known as The Lippa Pit & Quarry (Lippa), could have a significant impact on the environment at the north end of the lake, the residents who access the area from Aspdin Road, and could potentially impact our water quality.

The proposed Lippa operation would require an amendment to the Official Plan as well as changes to the zoning of the lands where the quarry would be located.  The proposed amendments are to be considered at a council meeting scheduled June 16th at ToML council chambers in Port Carling. 

TECHNICAL REPORTS for Council Meeting
http://www.muskokalakes.ca/content/planning

OPA 46, ZBA-13/12, LIPPA, 1089 BUTLER MILL ROAD

LIPPA PIT AND QUARRY TECHNICAL REPORTS

Why is this important to residents and cottagers on Skeleton Lake?

The SLCO has reviewed various studies submitted in support of the application and has concerns about potential impacts on the environment, wildlife, pollution, traffic and water quality.   

 Additional concerns are outlined in the SLCO letter below.

 

Tuesday, May 9, 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

We understand the Council will be considering at its June 16, 2017 meeting, a proposal to amend the Official Plan and Zoning By-law in favour of the Lippa Pit & Quarry application. The Skeleton Lake Cottagers Organization (SLCO) is strongly opposed to these amendments, based on the following concerns.

Traffic

The applications propose a maximum extraction level of 200,000 tonnes per year. At the maximum extraction level, the operation would generate 100 truck trips per day, or 14 trips per hour. That equates to a truck trip every 4 minutes, 8 hours per day. Most of the traffic would go easterly to the Huntsville – Bracebridge market area. The greatest impact would be to those users of Muskoka Road #3 east of Butler Mill Road.

The District of Muskoka Official Plan and the Township of Muskoka Lakes Official Plan recognize the importance of the tourist industry to the economy of the District. The District recognizes Muskoka Road #3 as a Scenic
Corridor. Consideration must be given to the conflict between shipping aggregates and the use of Muskoka Road #3 as a tourist, and especially a cycling route. While the traffic impact studies examine the impact of the operation on the function of Muskoka Road #3 as a traffic route, additional consideration is needed regarding the impact of the heavy truck traffic on the character of the road as a Scenic Corridor and cycling route. Further, those of us who have witnessed the evolution of that road from a gravel road, to a surface treated road, to a paved road of varying quality, question the impact of heavy truck traffic on the quality (or integrity?) of the road. We look to the District to examine the expected impact on Muskoka Road #3 in light of its quality and function. We note that the economic impact of the proposal identifies an annual payment of $3,000/yr to the District. This is about the same amount paid by residents of single lane private cottage access roads for annual maintenance and likely insufficient to maintain its condition under such loads.

We also note that Section 14.7 of the Muskoka Lakes Official Plan indicates that aggregate operations should be in close proximity to a Provincial Highway. We note that the operation is 14 km from Hwy 141 and 21 km from Hwy 11. If 14 km is close proximity, then the policy does not really mean that much.

Noise and Dust

The proposal includes a limitation of crushing activities within 2000 m of Skeleton Lake. Section 14.2 of the Township of Muskoka Lakes Official Plan states that no crushing operations can occur within 2000 m (2km) of the Waterfront Designation. The Official Plan defines the Waterfront Designation as being 150 m inland from the limit of the shoreline. Therefore, in order to comply with the Official Plan, the Zoning By-law and ARA license should impose a 2150 m limit on crushing operations from the shoreline of Skeleton Lake. While this distance should provide an adequate buffer under most conditions, we note that the prevailing winds in the summer months are from the north- west, potentially extending the area of impact of noise and dust. We would therefore request that, in the event that the applications are approved, the ARA license should prohibit crushing and screening on weekends June through September.

Hydrology

Our greatest concern, as clearly enunciated in the Skeleton Lake Plan and Stewardship Program, is any impact on water quality. The operation proposes to extract below the water table, requiring de-watering of the site. This requires pumping water from the quarry to Lambert’s Lake Creek, which is one of the streams that feeds Skeleton Lake. The Hydrological Report and Site plan propose monitoring of water quality and quantity to ensure no net reduction in either criterion within Lambert’s Creek. The mechanisms that need to be employed to achieve this objective are complicated and require constant attention and monitoring. We also note that water quality testing in the creek showed slightly elevated levels of chromium (above Provincial standards). The SLCO would like to be informed with respect to how this monitoring will be peer reviewed and, in the event that the applications are approved, would like to receive monitoring reports that are produced as a condition of the ARA License.

Finally, we are pleased to see that the Planning Justification Report contains a section (S. 13) addressing the SLCO Lake Plan and Stewardship Program. We appreciate the opportunity to review the Background Reports and provide meaningful input into this process. The SLCO would further appreciate an opportunity to meet with representatives of the applicant to have a more fulsome discussion regarding our concerns before Council makes a decision on the applications.

Sincerely,

Scott May, President
Skeleton Lake Cottagers Organization

CC: Kirstin Maxwell – Town of Huntsville, Planning Department
Summer Valentine – Manager of Planning, District of Muskoka
Fred Jahn – Commissioner, Engineering and Public Works
Jeff Schosser – Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests, Bracebridge Caitlyn Port – Skelton, Brumwell & Associates Inc.

My name is Tom Newman, and I am a cottager with life-long ties to Skeleton Lake and the surrounding area. I am strongly opposed to the proposed Lippa pit and quarry.

I have recently been voicing my concerns, and have spoken with Donald Furniss (Mayor of ToML), Allen Edwards (Councillor Ward B, ToML), Linda Barrick-Spearn (Councillor Ward B, ToML), Gault McTaggart (Councillor Ward B, ToML), and David Pink (Director of Planning, ToML). Several things became clear to me from these conversations.

First, it is vital for those, opposing the Lippa pit and quarry, to turn up en masse, at the ToML meeting in Port Carling, on Friday, June 16, to voice our displeasure. The more people who are prepared to make personal sacrifices to attend this meeting, the greater impact we will have.

Second, it is important for us to have speakers with persuasive and well-researched arguments to make submissions at this meeting. Each speaker will be given 5 minutes, and must not exceed this time allotment. Given so little time, it means that the most effective way for us to cover all the key points, is to divide up the sub-topics amongst the speakers, with each submission focussing primarily on one or two of these areas (e.g., threats to water quality, negative impact on tourism, increased noise levels from pit operation and trucks, destruction of natural habitat, etc.). If you are planning to make a submission, please let us know the main focus, so that we can help to coordinate the content, in order to avoid excessive repetition.

Finally, we will be facing off against a team of professional consultants from S. Brummell and Associates, who have prepared the reports that we will be contesting at the June 16 meeting. These reports are available at the ToML website (muskokalakes.ca), and are recommended reading, especially for those of us, who plan to make submissions.

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