The Highland Companies used to be the operating and investment vehicle for a group of private investors based in Canada and the United States. During those days past, when they were in operation, their self-promoting description of their business was about creating a diversified portfolio of sustainable local businesses in and beyond Melancthon Township in Dufferin County, Ontario and its environs. By building sustainable local businesses, they were creating local jobs and improving the life of the communities in which they operated in.
In the wake of listening for two hours to a vocal horde of 60 people generally being negative to the gravel pit proposal, they backed down, about a proposed gravel pit. It reached a point where no one looked at the possible bigger picture, so they, and the other partners in the gravel pit venture had been turned into enemies of the people.
The development permit was ready to allow them to mine sand and gravel from 2 quarter sections of nearby land. The site, as of now utilized as an RV park, is found nine miles north of the east side of Highway close to the Line Camp.
“Getting used to gravel pits is similar to getting used to a toothache,” said Tom Cole, who lives close to the proposed gravel pit.
In any case, Aryol Brumley, a representative of the Three States Aggregate (gravel pit company), guaranteed to the commission that commotion, dust, and transportation concerns that might arise from the plant would be moderated, and has been stated in the written proposal. As indicated by the license application, access is off Highway 145, with evaluated truck activity to be 30 round trips for every day.
Topsoil stripped from the area amid mining would be heaped into a 10-foot high berm to reduce the noise heard from machines, and the crusher used to beat gravel into various size products would be brought down lower into the pit to further mask the sound. Dust would be controlled through the utilization of water trucks and water splash bars on the crusher.
Under the arrangement, gravel could be mined or pulverized between the hours of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the exception of 21 days consistently where the operation could proceed as much as 24 hours a day so as to meet requests for enormous expressway ventures. This specific site would be dug for up to five years. Just like any other developer, they were ready to give an air-toxin outflow notice.
The commission said that it is not safe to accept their assurances until they were examined by some outside consultants, ( who happened to be against the gravel pit), and in this manner it was up to the commission to ensure that they were convinced if a license was to be endorsed, or not.
“Conditions around the pit could become worse, despite provincial safety inspections, and they may not address issues that concern the locals. So we have to understand what the province will require, before we settle on a choice.” Kelly said.
The commission asked for more data from Three States Aggregate in regards to what the provincial recovery prerequisites are with respect to gravel pits, how water rights would be influenced by the operation, and the desires that CDOT has about the passageway. They likewise asked for a point by point proposal from us on how we would recover the area once the mining ceased.
Everyone except one of the group of onlookers individuals who talked were against another gravel pit being placed in the picturesque valley, and encouraged the commission to deny the grant.
Grievances included worries about the operation’s consequences for personal satisfaction, tourism, wildlife, property value estimations and roadway security.
“The smoke and mess and commotion from these gravel pits will be spreading all over the valley and ruining the view of our blue skies,” said Carol Steppe, a landowner close to the proposed operation.
“We are the children of the original homesteaders of this area, and we need to make the most of our properties and think about the health of birds and deer.” said a voice amongst the crowd. “There is also a gravel pit about 20 miles away and we hear the noise from that, yet this one is much closer and will affect us all the more directly.”
“Property rights allow us to work on our own private land, and the neighboring land owners also need to not cause damage to our land by indirect effects. We need more protections.” said Cheri Robinson.
Robinson has initiated a push to stop the venture, and declared to look for a directive against the district, “We’re going to delay any mining until the courts rule in our favor.”
The commission is required to substantially uphold the rules for having environmental recovery plans in the development license, so that the zone does not turn into a blemish, was another concern raised by crowd individuals.
“Individuals come today in light of the fact that they have seen what has happened,” said Rollie Cundiff, who lives adjacent to a recovered gravel pit. “They botched the area, never planted one tree, and never did what they said they were going to do.”
We had plans to use the region to pull in campers and RVs for use during the summer months. Improving the nearby lakes into a more pleasing look and planting trees as a part of the remaining land reclamation. “With great planning, things can be worked out” Nielson said.
“The license takes into account mining, however, in the meantime, they must leave the property in a way that we can be pleasing to look at. These lakes can be made alluring”, he said.
The commission asked for more data from Three States Aggregate in regards to what state recovery plans are with respect to gravel pits, how water rights would be influenced by the operation, and the desires that CDOT has about the passageway.
In any case, another man in the group of onlookers said, guarantees should be upheld. “He says they need to be a decent neighbor, however, these things should not be taken lightly, let us all stand firm and ensure the project is not done.” he said.
In unison, they protested against the pit project, which never saw its commencement. It was shut down with the stroke of a pen.
Highland Companies wrote this about themselves, when they owned this domain:
We are creating a sustainable local businesses in and beyond Melancthon Township in Dufferin County, Ontario. Today, we are the largest potato farming operation in Ontario. From our base in Melancthon we are also pursuing an aggregate project. We are committed to building an area business which contributes to economic growth, creates local jobs and gives back to the community in ways that make life better for people.
As we grow, our focus will remain on harnessing and protecting the area’s natural resources; operating in an environmentally, socially and economically responsible way; and helping to make our rural community self-sufficient and sustainable.
Their vision was…
The responsible development and use of natural resources – agriculture, wind energy and aggregates – are hallmarks of Melancthon’s past and are helping to shape its future. Our vision is a Township that is the model of a self-sufficient, sustainable rural community.
What do we mean by a self-sufficient, sustainable community?
It’s one that achieves the right mix of economic activity, local government services and quality of life – without having to increase taxes, reduce services or rely too heavily on provincial grants.
We believe in working with the community in pursuit of a positive economic vision and a vibrant local economy. We view economic growth and diversity as essential if the community is to create jobs, fund government services and amenities for people, and ensure a sustainable future for our area.
Highland Companies (of Ontario) was in the news in 2012 for proposing a quarry, then withdrawing the application when faced with criticism. They were praised afterward for doing so. In July 2013, Highland sold 6500 acres of land. Because their Corporate overview was to be an investment vehicle, that sale might have been a success in and of itself. if land prices had risen, (which is usually the case).
I’ve noticed that a company called Highland Property Development in Arcadia, California owns the domain highlandcompanies.com.
There are several posts on the site about how you can participate in community development and other ways that one can get involved in community affairs to build a better, conducive and sustainable community.