The Child’s Pit and Quarry on Bonnie Lake Road could be getting a whole lot busier if a proposed rezoning is approved by Bracebridge council.
On Wednesday evening, the Bracebridge planning committee will vote on a rezoning application that could add some 403 acres to the existing quarry.
As it stands today the pit has an existing quarry licence area of 580 acres and is permitted to extract an area of 499 acres. The new extraction area will be an additional 354 acres.
A traffic study indicated that the quarry extracts about 210,000 tonnes of aggregate a year. For the proposed extension, Fowler is applying for a maximum of 2 million tonnes per year.
Specifically, the application is to rezone the area from the current zones of Extractive Industrial Quarry Special – 1 in part and Environmental Protection Wetland One in part to Extractive Industrial Quarry Special.
The lands containing the proposed aggregate extraction expansion are vacant and in a predominantly natural state containing forested areas and wetlands.
An environmental study identified a fish habitat, which corresponds to a coldwater fish community in nearby Sage Creek and a fishery in the Muskoka River. However, the study indicated that fish and fish habitats will not be affected by the proposed development provided the recommendations contained in the report are implemented (i.e. a monitoring program, maintenance of riparian buffers, blast monitoring, control of water quality and quantity, and compliance with the federal and provincial legislation relating to fish and fish habitat).
A statutory public meeting has already been held, wherein a number of questions and concerns were raised.
In response to a question about “jake brakes,” Fowler indicated they currently have signs posted along their internal haul route requiring drivers to limit their use of jake brakes. Fowler also said they have no concerns if the District of Muskoka posted signs on Bonnie Lake Road to regulate or control the use of jake brakes on the road. Fowler said they would cover the cost of the signs.
Town staff clarified that the Watershed Council or the Friends of the Muskoka Watershed have not requested to be notified of Town planning applications and there is no requirement to circulate to the groups under the Planning Act. Furthermore, they indicated that all the technical reports have been extensively reviewed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) as part of the ARA process. MNRF did require an additional Wetland Evaluation to be undertaken.
The rezoning application will be heard Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 6 p.m.
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