By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
Residents in opposition of a proposed large fill site in north Oshawa exploded in applause as council approved two public meetings to be held on the issue.
There weren’t many open seats in council chambers at the Jan. 27 meeting as a group of concerned citizens again spoke out against the proposed project.
Whitey-based company Hard-Co Construction is seeking the city’s permission to use Wilson Road, north of Columbus Road, to access its property at 3440 Wilson Rd. N. for the proposed fill site.
The proposal is currently in the hands of development services staff, with a report to committee and council on Hard-Co’s request for a site plan alteration pending.
Resident Clint Cole said a public meeting is needed to ensure a “higher standard of care in land use management.”
“I think we can learn from past experiences and past mistakes,” Cole said.
Allen Frank, another resident who lives in the area, said the impact of the project would be significant.
He requested all members of council attend the meetings.
“I hope all the councillors are interested in the concerns regarding our environment,” he said.
Mayor Dan Carter noted he “plans on being a big part of [those meetings.]
No representatives from Hard-Co spoke on Jan. 27. However, company vice-president Larry Harding was present at a development services meeting earlier this month.
He said his company wasn’t in the business of owning fill sites, but materials from their developments must “go somewhere.”
Harding said he believes the company has been unfairly targeted, as in the past they’ve dealt with fill materials as dictated by city permits but others have done so illegally and unsafely.
“I don’t know why we are looked at as the bad guys,” he said.
Commissioner of development services Warren Munro said information on the meetings would be posted on the city’s website and social media pages.
He said meetings under Ontario’s Planning Act usually require letters to be sent out to any property owners within 400 metres of the site in question.
However, Munro doesn’t think it would be an appropriate distance in this case, and he would consult further with members of the development services committee. Council voted unanimously in support of the meetings, however, no dates have been scheduled.