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DAY 68 - APRIL 28, 2010

April-28-10

Warren Sorensen, Land Use and Policy Planner (expert on planning for the CCC).

Has appeared before the Board since the 60s.  So qualified!

  • Have you been a consultant on quarry projects? 
    --I have consulted on some projects.  I was retained in December of 1998- Town was undertaking OPA 161- CCRS.  I visited subject location.  I advised the client that I had significant concerns re the incompatibility.  I reviewed the CCRS and other documents. My concerns have been with the Planning Act and the zoning bylaw.  I have visited the area for many years and have reviewed all the documents involved. My peer review was July of 2008. Comments on Mr. Parkin’s report and the various issues in the pre-hearing process.
  • Issues:
    • Quarry is akin to heavy industrialize use ie the heavy truck traffic
    • Noise, air quality, noise impacts, visual impact etc. also impacts on the natural environment.
    • Also there would be social impact ie the accumulative affects on the residents.
    • I am an engineer but I offer no opinion on any hydrogeology only planning.
    • I do believe that there should be proof of concept produced.
    • The area is a notable attractive area. In addition to the natural area, there is an emphasis on horse breeding and agriculture.
  • How do the proposed quarry and haul route show regard to policy?
    --Compatibility of proposal and land use policies. Adverse effects and land uses are key to understanding the policies. Adverse effects are defied as personal discomfort, natural environment, loss of enjoyment of property.
  • Does loss mean total loss or just a decrease of it?
    --It would mean interfering with the normal conducting of business. Policy is carried forward to 2005 and is a very important policy. Animal husbandry would be classified as sensitive land use.
  • What if the predicted air and dust are below the predicted guide lines?
    --They could be beneath the levels but this does not make them acceptable.
  • In the absence of a social impact study, the quarry and haul route have been justified?
    --These are major changes in the area. These changes are significant for the future of the area and require careful social impact analysis. They have not received the necessary attention from JDCL and therefore have not been justified.
  • Has the OMB Decision of 2003 been carried out?
    --Additional goals added to the plan. 
  • To balance the protection of aggregates with other goals; ie, maintenance of the local community, social values. ???
    -- Intent to balance and to take into concern certain circumstances.
  • Framework involves the distinction of different areas of aggregate; ie, reserve and resource?
    --Many of the study requirements look at need to study social impact.
  • Series of management objectives: to insure that extraction is done in a balanced fashion in both the short and long term.
  • While these provisions do not explicitly ask for a social impact study, I believe that a study is required to properly look at the social impact. Enables one to look at the totality of all the affects on the residents etc.
  • Reference to OMB decision: Good planning dictates that there should be a total social impact study.
  • Has the applicant provided sufficient studies to assess the impact of the quarry?
    -- It has not provided sufficient information of the haul route and study area.
  • The applicant should not be relieved of its obligation to do a social impact study?
    --It is my opinion that a full study should have been done. There would have been an opportunity for the planner to assess how all those impacts relate to planning policies.
  • The established character of Olde Base Line is that of a scenic road. The subject quarry is predicated on the use of Olde Base Line as the Haul Route. Major reconstruction would have to occur and the vertical alignment of the road would be altered significantly.
  • The Haul route goes thru the Niagara Escarpment Area. None of JDCL’s reports justifies the use of Olde Base Line in a comprehensive fashion.
  • Are you aware of Brampton Brick?
    --Yes but it is not on the proposed haul route Olde Base Line.
  • Improvements will be required to Olde Base Line regardless; however, the natural character could be maintained.
  • Highway 413 –Study continues – one of several options, wide study area, nothing definite and does not affect the suitability of the site.
  • According to provincial policy, aggregate should be protected for long use and so reserve as opposed to resource is more appropriate when it comes to Rockfort.
  • The proposed quarry and haul route do not have proper regard for the Region of Peel official plan.
  • All extraction to be located to minimize community and environmental impacts according to the ROP.
  • Is there a rehabilitation plan for phase one?
    --To my knowledge there is no rehab plan except for the final one.  There is an inappropriate gap in not having a rehab plan if something goes wrong.
  • If there is uncertainty is it good planning to issue a rezoning now?
    --No, it is inappropriate to ask the Board for approval and leave the fundamental matters not looked after.

Cross Examination of Warren Sorenson by Mr. Tzekas for JDCL:

  • You have not done significant quarry work?
    --Yes, that’s correct.
  • You were retained in Dec of 1998?
    --Yes.
  • Did you have discussions with the CCC or Mr. Webb?
    --I believe Mr. Webb.
  • When you formulated your opinion you did not do any formal studies on your own?
    --No I worked on what I know of planning and the area itself. Fundamentally incompatible!
  • This runs all thru your evidence. Are you aware that your client had this opinion before you did?  Letter is shown from Mr. Webb to Mr. Hindson 1998.  Lets look at the issues of fundamental incompatibility. The Provincial Policy of 1997….Rural areas will generally be the area of resource areas.  Would you agree that the Rockfort property is in a rural area?
    --Yes.
  • Have to strive to find balance among major land uses?
    --Yes, but it is also a location problem, too.
  • Location is only one aspect of the balance. Acknowledgement that there are engineering solutions to these kinds of problems.
    --Yes, I would agree.
  • The quarry has been designed according to the provincial standards.
    --Yes, but that is not enough.
  • So even if we can design the quarry to all the standards that still won’t be enough for you?
    --Yes, that is right.
  • Isn’t that exactly what the guidelines do?
    --No, I do not agree that that is what the policies say. There must be a real assessment.
  • The haul route chosen has the least impact.
    --Yes, that may be true, but the haul route has to be acceptable.

Natural Heritage issues:

  • Policy creates some absolute exclusions- but it may be permitted in some areas?
    --I do not offer an opinion on these matters.
  • How would you describe the settlements around the Niagara escarpment?
    --Scenic, good place to live except for the quarrying areas. The Rockfort area and the area around it is the best of what Caledon has to offer.
  • Does the Greenbelt allow quarries within its boundaries?
    --Yes
  • Aggregate resources are notable in that close to market is very important?
    --Yes.
  • Regional Policies adopted in1996:  The region did not wish to include a map in their original decision so they included the original Cabinet Corners decision. That was the area that was to be protected. JDCL site would be in the south west corner of the Cabinet Corners.
  • In settling the ROP the CCC agreed that this area was a HPMARA?
    --Yes.
  • Is there anything in this regional policy that could demonstrate “fundamental incompatibility”?
    --At the regional level there tends to be a broad brush – needs to be looked at the local level.
  • CCRS: Completion was mandated by the Region – community was involved?
    --Yes
  • This policy document looked at specific land uses?
    --Yes
  • Minutes of a CAG meeting with Rod Symmes attending. Are you aware of this?
    --Yes
  • Recommendations were made: Effort to balance the community concerns?
    --Yes, I would agree.
  • You were involved with the CCC through part of the CCRS process and on to OPA 161?
    --Yes I was.
  • Did OPA 161 conform to the ROP?
    --I think there were some modifications that I would have made.
  • One of the adoptions was for priority 1 and priority 2 plan?
    -- Yes that is correct.
  • Distinction became Reserve and Resource?
    --Yes.
  • All those distinctions have been addressed by JDCL?
    --Yes, they have except for the lack of the social impact study.
  • OPA 161 was settled by all the parties including the CCC?
    --Yes and they agreed to all these policies.  OPA 161 implicitly asks for a social impact study and therefore that is why I think there should be a complete study.
  • Dealing with OPA 161 which requires the appellant address the impacts of the broader community, are you criticizing MHBC for doing this?
    --No, I am criticizing that they are not also dealing with the local impacts.
  • You are concluding that there is fundamental incompatibility as early as 1998, without doing any reports?
    --I have not carried out studies myself but I certainly have reviewed all the reports.
  • You come to the conclusion of fundamental incompatibility not withstanding the Region's directions to the local municipalities for clear guidelines, and for the Town to comply with the PPS?
    --I think I did consider it, in the context of the wording "realistic", but it is my view the specific proposal here does not conform to 161.
  • Looking at Olde Baseline, you have said the existing road is adequate for current traffic?
    --I think I said it was entirely suitable but there may be a few adjustments such as surfacing or site lines.
  • The Belfountain ESA said the road was unsafe?
    --I think what is mentioned there is consistent with what I stated.
  • You didn't even bother to look at the Belfountain ESA?
    --Mr. Webb points out that in fairness to the witness, the report had been deferred.
  • This road is designated as a major road, and that truck traffic should go on major roads?
    --As a general principal, yes
  • The policy suggests that you can look at these types of roads if there are no other alternatives?
    --You can look at them but not without also considering the acceptability of the local impacts.
  • The Region deferred the Belfountain ESA, until there is a land use decision from the Board?
    -- My concern is the inappropriateness of this haul route in terms of acceptable impacts and that would be decided in all the various aspects in the EA process.
  • Your opinion is that the Aggregate Area 9A has the highest merit in "Reserve"? –Yes, and I believe it is consistent with the wording "realistic" as we have discussed before.
  • Did you consider other areas like Area 5A?
    --I'm aware of it but have not put my mind to it.
  • Did you look at the equestrian land uses in those areas?
    --Not specifically.
  • You said, "If the approval prejudices the attractiveness of this area, then the OP and good planning would preclude this application?
    --I think those were my words.
  • Do you agree that in the planning at all levels; there is an emphasis of balance? --Yes.
  • Do you know how much aggregate Peel consumes and produces?
    --No
  • Yet you still think there is a fundamental incompatibility?
    --I think my words were specifically for this location and this proposal and this haul route.

Mr. Webb (CCC)--re-direct:

  • Looking at the Town of Caledon official plan, the HPMARA is identified as not a land use designation nor is the CHMARA. So are "resource or reserve" lands, land use designations?
    --No, they are not, it is perhaps an overlay, not a land use designation.
  • Looking at 511.213: the words read, "whereby these lands MAY be extracted", is that not what you have be discussing all day?
    --Yes.