OMB/LPAT/ERT/OLT decisions and outcomes


In 2016, Laurier and Florence Goulet, the owners of a parcel of land in Ogden Township, applied to have a site
plan control agreement approved for the extraction of sand and gravel. Following the submission of various
documents, the application was approved by the Timmins city planning manager in the spring of 2016 but was
strongly opposed by a group of residents living by Baker Lake just north of the land parcel (L. Gillis). The Site,
in a larger context, was located approximately 500 m to the southwest of Baker Lake, on which a number of
residents have seasonal or year-round residences.

Following a recommendation from the city planning manager, city council continued to debate. In the end,
council listened to the concerns voiced by the residents and did not vote to approve the pit, going against the
recommendation of its own planning department. This resulted in the Goulet family challenging the decision
by appealing to the Ontario Municipal Board (L. Gillis).

Five people requested and were granted participant status for the purposes of the OMB hearing – those who
were expected to suffer adverse effects from the property’s use, such as the loss of enjoyment of normal use
of a residence or material discomfort arising from noise, dust, and vibrations (OMB decision). Other issues
raised included slope stability, bank erosion hazards, how a commercial gravel operation would affect surface
and ground water quality, and whether the pit operation would impact wildlife and species at risk (L. Gillis).

In December 2018, the OMB ruled in favour of the local residents and declared that the proposed gravel pit
would not be allowed to move forward. It had become clear to the Tribunal that “the Appellant’s technical
submissions in support of the application did not include the type of field work, data collections, surveys, and
comprehensive analysis necessary to satisfy the policy and regulatory requirements relating to wildlife habitat,
species at risk and environmental impact assessments,” (OMB decision). It was also concluded that not all
aspects of the Appellant’s proposal were thoroughly reviewed, and that crucial matters were not addressed
when the recommendation that the project go forward was made to Timmins City Council in 2016.

Rather surprisingly, it was not until closing argument on the final day of the OMB hearing, that the Appellants
indicated to the Tribunal that it had never been their intention to open an aggregate pit. “It was never our
intention to open a pit in the first place. All we ever wanted from the very beginning, and still want, is to build
a home. Nothing more than a residence in the Baker Lake area,” said Goulet. “We would like to cancel the site
plan control agreement,” (L. Gillis).

Goulet then said he would like to see the entire parcel rezoned to RD-RU rural to allow for residential use. The
Tribunal, however, does not have a zoning by-law appeal before it, and had no jurisdiction to consider that
request (OMB decision).

Links: – OMB decision (Word doc)