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City looking for ways to control dust from new developments

Following a recent staff report, the City of Oshawa will soon be consulting with stakeholders and the public on the best way to control dust created from construction, particularly from new developments.

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

Is construction dust becoming a problem in your neighbourhood? The city will soon want to hear from you.

Following a recent staff report, the City of Oshawa will soon be consulting with stakeholders and the public on the best way to control dust created from construction, particularly from new developments.

According to Councillor John Neal, he receives a number of ongoing complaints from people in the north end of Oshawa where new development has been a constant process in recent years. In particular, the staff report points to a number of complaints received in the area between Salmers Drive and Conlin Road East as dust blankets the area caused from developments on the west side of Grandview Street North. Currently, there are five subdivision phases underway in the area and prevailing winds are causing the dust to blow right into the residential areas. To solve the problem, increased cleaning measures are in place including street sweeping and cleaning of driveway aprons with the developers all sharing the costs.

Neal also says he’s worried what will happen when the large subdivisions in the Kedron Part II planning area begin to break ground north of Conlin Road East.

“That whole area is going to basically be dust covered for quite a while,” he says.

Moving forward, the staff report recommends a number of potential options for ways to curb the blight.

Options include the passage of a bylaw in relation to either the “fouling of roads”, similar to what is in place in the Town of Ajax, or a bylaw related to nuisance dust, both of which could come with administrative monetary penalties as punitive measures.

“Any program will not totally (100 per cent) prevent dust from going onto public streets or private properties adjacent to new developments. City staff do the best we can to control mud and dust on city streets and within new developments,” the report reads.

Moving ahead, the city will be looking to consult with the public, the Oshawa Environmental Advisory Committee and the city’s Building Industry Liaison Team on the best path forward. Dates for those consultations are unknown at this time.

“I think we’re on the right track here,” says Councillor Neal.