EVE-LYNN SWAN The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Despite the allure of playoff hockey, Goodwood residents gathered at the community hall, last Wednesday night, to discuss appealing Uxbridge Township Council’s decision to allow a grain mill on agricultural land near the village.
The clock is ticking for the group, as they must notify the township by May 6th, to have the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) hear their case. The request for appeal must come from a resident or a corporation and must be accompanied by payment of a $300 fee for each reason for objection.
At the hall, the newly-formed Goodwood Conservation Association (GCA) handed out mill-related fire risk information and collected names and email addresses. More importantly, they polled residents on their appetite for contributing money for the many costs associated with an appeal.
Acting as host, Mark Josephs took to the microphone and assured residents the meeting would be over by 8:30 pm. He asked the GCA’s David O’Leary to present information on the hazards associated with grain processing mills and related fire protection requirements. Mr. O’Leary did so, adding, his personal experience with local fire protection, and steps he’s taken to protect his home, to his well-researched presentation.
Next up was Conrad Richter, whose business lies east of the proposed grain mill. Mr. Richter has been spearheading research into the mill’s effects on the area. Following the change in allowed uses of his neighbour’s land, Mr. Richter has focused on learning about LPAT and the appeal process.
Richter told the crowd the LPAT is so new, having replaced the Ontario Municipal Board in 2017, the lawyers and planning professionals don’t have a lot of experience with the new appeal process. He reviewed the steps and timing, as he understood it, and concluded the group should try to raise a minimum of $10,000 “to get rolling” and expect to be involved in the action for about a year.
Not everyone in the hall was sure if the April 8th land use decision was being appealed, as some GCA executive members said it was; while funding levels seemed to be a consideration in whether someone would pay the fee and set the process in motion. It became clear an appeal would be launched, but not the basis for the action or the person or entity pulling the trigger.
Mark Josephs brought the official part of the meeting to a close, at 8:27 p.m., as promised. The Township of Uxbridge will have worthy opponents in this well-organized and focused group of residents, who clearly care about their community.
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