OMB/LPAT/ERT/OLT decisions and outcomes

  Penninsula Lake/Huntsville Granite Supply (revised)

The Hunstville Granite Supply (HGS) property is a 33.26-hectare site overlooking Peninsula Lake in the
Township of Lake of Bays. In 2006, the company proposed to develop 6.17 hectares of that site as a quarry
for the extraction, cutting and processing of dimensional stone which would require explosives, a rock drill,
loaders, trucks, dozers and an excavator. Following three weeks of public hearings and carefully considering
all of the evidence presented, in February 2007 the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) ruled in favour of the
municipality, the Peninsula Lake Association and area residents – all of whom went before the board and
insisted that a quarry in that location is incompatible with the existing community.

Following the news of the HGS quarry proposal, a “No Quarry” team was created, made of hundreds of
Peninsula Lake Association members, Hillside neighbours and residents of the Township of Lake of Bays
who recognized the need for a coordinated, concerted effort to prevent its development (Peninsula Lake
Association). “It is not something that any of us really wanted to do,” said Peninsula Lake Association
President Len Ross, referring to the cost to mount the battle against the quarry before the OMB. “This truly
was a community effort to try to say what should be allowed to be put or developed in certain areas of our
community. This really was a community endeavour,” (Huntsville Forester).

Key issues raised by the “No Quarry” team included noise, visual impact, protection of the natural
environment, and preservation of the character and heritage of the area. Those values, in addition to their
fundraising and legal defense, were the very core of the case. Another key factor in the decision was that 4
years before submitting this proposal, HGS constructed access into the site and began operations without
having obtained a licence to do so. Much of the Board’s evidence flows from testimony regarding the
unauthorized quarry operations from six years ago including extensive evidence from lakeshore residents on
noise and visual impacts, which convinced the Board that quarrying at this site would significantly affect the
local community and its residents and could not easily be mitigated (OMB Decision).

The OMB decision came after three weeks of public hearings with 76 exhibits and 36 witnesses, including
technical experts but also many area residents. OMB chair Karlene Hussey concluded that the operation would
conflict with the municipality’s Official Plan and the vision of the Peninsula Lake Plan and determined that the
specific location was more than problematic, it was inappropriate (Peninsula Lake Association).

“No doubt this has been a long and difficult and costly struggle, but our patience and persistence has been
rewarded,” said a spokesperson for the community. “Thanks to each of you, as well as the caliber and focused
resolve of our professional teams, Pen Lake and its surroundings will be spared the ‘banging and clanging’ of
a quarry near its shores and the visual blight that would go with it for more than 60 years… That’s certainly
good news for all of us, but most importantly it means future generations will not be strangers to the priceless
natural beauty and peaceful ambience it is our privileged to enjoy today… Everyone who contributed to
this successful outcome can take genuine pleasure in knowing what has been achieved,” (Peninsula Lake