By Chad Ingram
Published May 19 2016
The Gull Lake Cottagers’ Association has retained legal counsel over the proposal for an auto salvage yard south of Minden.
The scrap yard application first came before Minden Hills last summer the proposed location a property abutting Hunter Creek Estates along Highway 35. Zoned part rural and part extractive industrial the property a former quarry requires a site-specific zoning amendment for the operation of a salvage yard.
The application has drawn concern from the Gull Lake Cottagers’ Association and some residents of Hunter Creek Estates and council has deferred a decision until an environmental impact study and noise impact study are completed by the applicants.
However the cottagers’ association thinks the township should go further than that.
During a May 12 committee-of-the-whole meeting Frank Zechner retained legal counsel for the association made a delegation to council.
“The Gull Lake Cottagers’ Association represents a number of concerned residents in the area” Zechner said.
The association wants to see a comprehensive Phase II environmental site assessment performed by a qualified professional and have an opportunity along with other members of the public to make comments on that study before any decision is made by council.
“We want to ensure there’s a reasonable opportunity for all residents to have a look at such an environmental assessment report” Zechner said adding that many automotive fluids do not easily dissolve. “They are designed so they don’t break down with heat and exposure to air.”
Zechner also wanted to ensure council was aware of a new provincial regulation coming into effect a regulation mandating certain environmental approvals for the establishment of auto salvage yards.
While there is a phase-in period attached to the regulation “Our position is that if you’re looking at a new facility they should follow those requirements from the get-go” he said.
Reeve Brent Devolin said council was aware of the new regulation and had requested more information from the province but hadn’t received it yet.
“Obviously that will have a bearing on this issue” Devolin said.
Zechner suggested a detailed site plan including the location of all buildings scales storage areas etc. be made available to the public for comment and stressed that a spillage containment system and monitoring wells should also be included.
“It’s not just enough to have an asphalt pad there has to be secondary containment” Zechner said adding that a remediation plan for future use of the property should also be in place. “What’s going to happen to the site after the business has stopped?”
Zechner also pointed to the Minden Hills official plan noting that waste disposal sites are not to be located within 500 metres of residences.
“We’re not opposing this we’re asking you to make an informed decision” Zechner said.
“That’s an exceptionally detailed comprehensive and impressive presentation” said Councillor Jeanne Anthon. “You’ve given us lots of food for thought.”
“I’m sure that council and staff will take it under advisement” said Councillor Pam Sayne.