The company that was denied a rezoning request to expand its quarry operations in Ramara is appealing township council’s decision.
At a meeting Monday, council voted 5-2 against Fowler Construction’s request to have a property north of its existing Fleming quarry on Rama Road rezoned from rural to mineral aggregate extraction.
“Fowler is disappointed with council’s decision to refuse our Fleming quarry extension application and the company will be appealing council’s decision to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT),” Fowler said in a statement sent to OrilliaMatters.
Ramara Mayor Basil Clarke said the company’s decision to appeal was “no surprise.”
“The quarry wants what the quarry wants,” he said.
He defended council’s decision.
“It’s just not an area where we want a quarry,” he said, also taking issue with Fowler’s assertion that the project would be an “extension” of its existing quarry. “It’s a new quarry.”
In its statement, Fowler indicated it wasn’t expecting council to vote against the rezoning.
“We were surprised by the decision of some members of council to ignore all of the technical peer reviews that they commissioned, which confirmed that our application complied with all government policies and guidelines,” it read.
“The township has a prescribed process to follow and we are extremely disappointed that they circumvented their own process and proceeded to make a decision on our application prior to receiving a final recommendation from the township planner.”
Council heard from many residents who were opposed to the project, mainly because it would have been operating 70 metres away from the nearest residence.
“We’re going to challenge it based on the proximity to the houses,” Clarke said. “An LPAT judge will decide whether that’s fair or not.”
There are plenty of locations a good distance from residential areas where Fowler could go, he added.
“There’s no reason why they can’t move farther north. There’s no shortage of granite,” he said. “I’m really hoping the province and LPAT see the wisdom in that.”
Fowler stated it is “unfortunate that the taxpayers of the township will now be burdened with this unnecessary legal expense and the township will now have to hire others to try and support their position.”
Clarke said it’s worth it “to defend the rights of our citizens.”
“It would be really nice if Fowler would withdraw (the appeal) and not cost our citizens any more money.”
Clarke said the township kept its part of the bargain, and he didn’t mince his parting words.
“You mined the rock you said you were going to mine. We’ve honoured that deal. Goodbye,” Clarke said.
Details about the LPAT hearing have not yet been determined.