The Blue Mountain Watershed Trust (BMWT), concerned area residents, and sister organizations have united to support the Niagara Escarpment Commission’s (NEC) denial of the Township of Clearview’s Application Permit to reconstruct Nottawasaga Side Road 26/27 and close a section of former Simcoe County Road 91 abutting the Walker Aggregate existing and new quarries. This in turn would have turned the road easement over to Walker Aggregate for their use.
BMWT opposed Clearview’s application to reconstruct Side Road 26/27 pointing out that wetlands, cold water streams, steep escarpment slopes and species at risk could be impacted. We also stated that Clearview failed to correctly follow the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment as public input and the consideration of alternates were not considered as we felt should be the case.
Clearview’s environmental consultant in preparing for the Development Application appeal discovered in their field surveys additional wetlands in and abutting the Side Road 26/27 easement triggering the requirement to amend the Niagara Escarpment Plan. Clearview appealed the NEC decision back in December of 2015 and has for over 6 years and 7 months asked for deferment of the Hearing date and has asked and received from NEC a joint hearing so both the side road and NEP amendment will be heard at the same time.
The Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks (MECP) based on new information provided to them is now reconsidering the Schedule of MCEA that should be used and is yet to report back to Clearview on this concern. If the MECP maintain the project is a Schedule A+ undertaking the Hearing can be scheduled. If not, Clearview will need to address a higher
schedule and obtain public comments and consider alternatives not just reconstructing seasonal Side Road 26/27.
We have submitted to Clearview and NEC an alternate route as has the Town of the Blue Mountain (TBM). They oppose the closing of former Simcoe County Road 91 as it negatively impacts the intercounty road network and would direct places additional traffic on Highway 26 through the Towns of Collingwood and TBM.