By Mike Williscraft
After the issue of dumping in Grimsby’s rural areas went largely ignored by Grimsby town council, that inaction was reversed Monday night when a comprehensive bylaw was approved.
A lengthy series of measures to reduce impacts of truck traffic and site alterations was part of the package of changes introduced by Coun. Dorothy Bothwell, chair of the Planning Committee.
“This represents a good grasp of some new tools to reduce truck traffic and the nuisance to neighbours.This is not the end,” said Bothwell, who added a public liaison committee may be created.
“We will continue to look for improvements. This is a really good step going forward.”
Included in the list of measures implemented:
• Increased fill placement setbacks from three metres to 10 metres from side and rear lot lines;
• Maximum side slopes of fill to 5 to 1;
• Create a “Large-scale Site Alteration” classification with its own specific requirements;
• Increased permit fees based on land area;
• Increased letter of Credit amounts of up to $30,000;
• On-site soils testing;
• Retaining the Letter of Credit for a period of 18 months after work is complete for soils testing results;
• Site work restrictions due to weather and now include Saturday and Sunday;
• Dumping would only be permitted Monday to Friday;
• Mud control devices;
• No permit renewal within 12 months of a permit expiry.
“We worked really hard to develop this bylaw but if there is a further need, we will certainly do what is required,” said Mayor Jeff Jordan.
While Coun. Dave Kadwell said a definition for a “large scale” dumping operation needs to be rolled out so it would be easier for council to “dig in our heels”, Coun. Lianne Vardy went a step further.
“It (the bylaw) says we can limit or disallow depending on the definition of ‘large scale’. We should eliminate large scale dumping,” said Vardy, adding this would not impact anyone who had legitimate needs needs to alter land on their property.
“We want farmers or landowners who are building to be able to raise up their land as needed, but I think we should be strengthening the bylaw further.”
While town council and most Grimsby residents knew Mountain Road would be closed for construction starting this past Monday, nobody foresaw Mother Nature creating an issue with Woolverton Road on Sunday night.
Woolverton had to be closed overnight due to damage from heavy rains, said Coun. Dave Kadwell, chair of Grimsby’s public works committee.
“It was a real hazard and it had to be closed right away,” said Kadwell of the short notice.
“We are hoping it can be reopened by Wednesday afternoon (April 17). We had to hire an independent contractor to get the work done where some rock came loose.”
It will not open until late Wednesday, however.
The Woolverton closure – combined with the start of a month-long closure of Mountain Street for work between Elm Street and Ridge Road West – made for long line ups on Park Road which became the only functioning escarpment crossing in town.