Mayor Marg Isbestor cast the last vote as the Greater Napanee council unanimously denied a zoning amendment application by R.W. Tomlinson Ltd. that would have allowed the construction of an asphalt plant built on a six-hectare piece of land close to County Road 2 and Palace Road.
The decision by council goes against a report prepared by IBI group, which had been hired by the municipality of Greater Napanee. IBI had recommended approval of the zoning amendment. The decision also dashes the hopes of the Tomlinson Group of companies.
“After the final submissions, the consultant team, the county, Quinte Conservation, identified their concerns with respect to supporting the zoning amendment had been satisfied,” said Mark Touw of IBI group.
“I do acknowledge that there have been some local residents opposed to the application, I’m also aware that there are many that have remained silent, and that there are also local businesses who are supportive and recognize the importance of these types of uses and construction materials to the local community,” said Rob Pierce, senior vice president of Tomlinson Group.
But the reports and information provided through the process didn’t eliminate residents’ concerns raised at public meetings and through a petition about the asphalt plant’s location less than a kilometre from homes and potential impacts on air quality, groundwater, the Napanee River and traffic volumes.
The plant would mean there would be “tri-axle trucks travelling every six minutes or so along Highway 2 and Palace Road,” said Napanee resident, Vicki Stewart.
Such concerns appear to have been heard by council.
“Minimum standards are not good enough for the people who live in this neighbourhood or in the community at large. We can ask for better and we should set the bar higher,” Ward 5 Coun. Ellen Johnson said.
The Tomlinson Group has 20 days to decide whether to appeal the council decision to the Ontario Land Tribunal.