Response to Bill 66: Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act

Duffins Rouge Agricultural PreserveBill 66 could be a major threat to the Duffins Rouge Agricultural Preserve

Legislation is currently in development that could be a major threat to the Rouge-Duffins Agricultural Preserve.

Why should we care? Because half of Whitevale is located within the Preserve.

For those of you not familiar with the Preserve, it is bounded by Hwy 7 to the north, the CP Rail line to the south, The Rouge River to the west, and the West Duffin Creek to the east.

Bill 66 titled, “Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act” has many different aspects to it, including allowing municipalities the ability to create by-laws which can lead the way to development within the greenbelt – including the Preserve.

There are a number of online resources that provide an overview of what Bill 66 is about and what it could mean to our future. We have included an important response from the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance, which can be found here.

For a brief overview – Ontario Nature provides a concise synopsis:
https://ontarionature.org/bill-66-facts/

We also encourage you to read the full details on the government website:
https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-66

Meeting Summary – Private Water Well Monitoring Program

On Wednesday, July 6, 2016, Whitevale residents gathered to listen to a presentation by representatives of WSP Consulting and the Region of Durham on the subject of the Durham Private Water Well Monitoring Program for Whitevale.

There was great discussion and the majority of the residents’ questions were addressed through the presentation.  Click here to download the presentation slides.

 

Below are a few key highlights of the presentation:

Private Water Well Monitoring Program

The program is being conducted to determine impacts to private well water in the hamlet as a result of construction of regional ‘spine’ services only (water/sanitary/storm and road construction).  This survey is not related to ongoing impacts from all other Seaton construction (i.e. this survey is not meant to measure impacts to well water as a result of the new houses/subdivisions themselves).

The program is being offered at no cost to residents and will consist of the following phases:

  1. Phase 1 – Baseline Survey:
    ● 
    Meant to provide the Region with pre-constructiongroundwater conditions in the Whitevale area, with respect to water quantity and quality.
    ● This baseline information will be used to determine if the construction of regional ‘spine’ services caused any negative impacts to well water in the hamlet.
    ● Timing: NOW
    ● Eligibility: Homes on both east and west sides of the hamlet. Does not include homes owned by the province.
  2. Phase 2 – Pre-Construction Water Level Monitoring:
    ● A minimum of 15 wells will be selected based on the information collected in Phase 1.
    ● Both deep drilled wells and shallow dug wells will be included to give an approximation of the groundwater conditions in the area.
    ● This phase will only monitor groundwater levels (quantity), but will not measure quality.
    ● A monitoring device (data logger) will be inserted into the well to record water levels and information will be downloaded from the device every quarter.
    ● Timing: Begins after the Baseline Survey (Phase 1) and continues for a minimum of 1 year (ends once construction begins for regional services).
  3. Phase 3 –Construction Water Level Monitoring:
    ● 
    Will only include the 15wells included in Phase 2.
    ● This phase will continue to monitor groundwater quantity.
    ● Water quality sampling will only be performed if there is a suspected impact; this is typically in response to a homeowner reporting a change in quality.
    ● Data collection intervals will be increased from quarterly to weekly.
    ● Timing: Takes place during select regional construction activities; expected to begin in over a year from now.
  4. Phase 4 – Post-Construction Water Level Monitoring:
    ● 
    Upon completion of regional spine services construction, additional water quality sampling and water level measurements will be completed.
    ● Wells identified as being impacted by regional construction will be closely monitored to determine if their conditions return to an acceptable level.

Durham Region’s Well Interference Policy

Provides relief to residents where their private well has been impacted by the construction of regional services only (i.e. NOT in relation to construction of housing/subdivisions).

●Applies when there is a negative impact, such as:

● Lowering of the water level in the well beyond a usable level; and/or

● Negative impact on the quality of the water.

● Temporary Relief: If a temporary negative impact occurs (identified during Phase 3 monitoring), then the region will provide potable water until such time that the well returns to a usable level.

● Permanent Relief: If it is determined that the impact is permanent (identified during Phase 4 monitoring), then the region would cover the cost of drilling a new well(s).The Region confirmed that because Whitevale is deemed outside the serviced area and services will not be provided to the hamlet, the only permanent option available would be the drilling of a new well(s) and would not include connecting to the regional water supply.

A copy of the Region’s Well Interference Policy can be downloaded here.

Additional Information

● Various resource materials were provided by WSP and are available at the WACC for residents’ access

● A map of area wells can be downloaded here.

Next Step:

A representative from WSP will be in Whitevale starting this coming Tuesday, in order to start work on completing the surveys and sampling. If you plan to participate and haven’t yet signed up, please contact Scott Watson (of WSP) by email at Scott.Watson@wspgroup.com or by phone: 705-445-0064, to schedule your appointment. They would like to have the surveys completed ASAP to allow sufficient time for a 1-year pre-construction monitoring program.  For those on the west side of Whitevale who didn’t receive the survey, you are encouraged to contact WSP directly, as the decision was made during the meeting to now include all property owners within the hamlet boundaries.

 

The WDRA executive and members of the Water Preservation Committee are firmly committed to working toward ensuring that residents are kept informed during this important process. We believe that it is essential that the hamlet have a comprehensive database of existing well water conditions in the event that there is a problem.  This study provides us with the opportunity to achieve this objective while having it paid for by the developers. The more residents that participate, the better and more reliable the information/data the community will have in the future if we need it.

 

We will continue to keep you posted on any new developments.

 

Ground Water Supply Survey

By now all households should have been contacted by a representative from WSP regarding the testing of Hamlet wells in order to establish a “pre-Seaton” baseline in terms of quantity and quality.
Download

View Survey

The WSP representative has agreed to meet with residents on July 6, 8:00 pm at the Whitevale Community Centre in order to answer our questions so that we can all make an informed decision prior to agreeing to take part. In preparation for the meeting with the consultant/Region, the Water Preservation Committee is working to develop a list of questions to be addressed by WSP/Durham Region. This list of questions will be provided to the consultant in advance of the July 6th meeting with them.
Groundwater Resources
Below are some useful references related to well water quality and quantity.

Environmental Assessments for the Demolition of Heritage Structures in Seaton

City Development, Report PLN 10-15
Infrastructure Ontario
Class B Environmental Assessments for the Demolition of Structures Located in the Seaton Urban Area and the Hamlet of Whitevale

CHERProperties

Download

Download Report

Executive Summary:

Infrastructure Ontario is undertaking two different Class B Environmental Assessments for the demolition of buildings located on 20 properties in the Seaton Urban Area and the Hamlet of Whitevale. Infrastructure Ontario has retained environmental consultants ECOH and DST to gather background information on the properties including the heritage status of the properties.

The City retained qualified heritage consultants Christopher Borgal of Goldsmith Borgal & Company Ltd. (GBCA) and Laurie Smith of Laurie Smith Heritage Consulting to undertake heritage assessments to evaluate the properties against the criteria of the Ontario Heritage Act and determine their cultural heritage value. The Heritage Pickering Advisory Committee was also advised of the proposed demolition of the buildings and has provided recommendations to Council. ·

Council, at the May 19, 2015 meeting, approved the recommendations within Report PLN 04-15, which dealt with nine properties included in the first Environmental Assessment. This second report, PLN 10-15, provides recommendations to Council respecting the demolition requests for the remaining 11 of the 20 properties.

Some properties are located in the Seaton Urban Area and are subject to the policies of the Central Pickering Development Plan (CPDP) and the City’s Official Plan Amendment for Seaton. Some of the properties are also located in the Hamlet of Whitevale within the Whitevale Heritage Conservation District and protected under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act.

The City is very concerned that the Province is allowing these buildings to fall into such a state of disrepair. A number of the buildings are valuable resources to the City and the demolition of these buildings would be a significant loss of the City heritage resources. “Demolition by neglect” is unacceptable and contrary to the Provincial Policy Statement. The City strongly recommends Infrastructure Ontario restore these buildings so that they can be used for appropriate residential, commercial or community purposes serving the City.

Recommendations:

  1. That Council in response to the Infrastructure Ontario Class B Environmental Assessments, object to the demolition of buildings located at 498 and 1050 Whitevale Road, and 17 40 Fifth Concession Road;
  2. That Council also object to the demolition of the building located at 615 Whitevale Road but not object to the demolition of the outbuilding at this location;
  3. That Council not object to the demolition of buildings located at 3490 Brock Road, 1469 Taunton Road, 170 Highway 7, 2750 Whitevale Road and 2900 Brock Road;
  4. That Council also not object to the demolition of the building located at 650 Whitevale Road and requests the Province install a commemorative plaque on the property at the proposed trail head location;
  5. That Council endorse the recommendations of the Heritage Pickering Advisory Committee to designate 498, 615 and 1050 Whitevale Road, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act; and that staff be authorized to prepare the appropriate materials and report back to Council at a future date;
  6. That Council request staff to write the school boards to determine their interest in incorporating the building located at 3280 Sideline 16 into a future school board block, and if the school boards are not interested, that Council not object to the demolition of the house located at 3280 Sideline 16.;
  7. That Council express its strong concern with the Province for its disregard of significant heritage resources in Pickering through the lack of maintenance and occupancy of such resources, in contravention of the Provincial Policy Statement, and request the Province to restore and reuse these structures and manage them in compliance with the Standards & Guidelines for Conservation of Provincial Heritage Properties;
  8. That Council request the Province to record, document and provide to the City in the form of photographs and/or measured drawings all buildings to be demolished, as well as make available exterior or interior heritage features for salvage to interested parties prior to any demolition; and
  9. Further, that a copy of this Report and Council’s Resolution be forwarded to: the Premier of Ontario; Infrastructure Ontario; the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure; the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; and the Whitevale and District Residents’ Association.