Napanee, Ont. residents react to council’s decision on asphalt plant

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Napanee residents react to council’s decision on asphalt plant
WATCH: A victory for Napanee residents in their bid to stop a controversial asphalt plant. The proposal was unanimously denied by the town council last night, but that may not be the end of it – Apr 6, 2022

Members of the ‘Keep Napanee Great’ initiative are surprised but happy after Napanee town council voted unanimously to deny a zoning amendment application by R.W. Tomlinson Ltd that would have allowed the construction of an asphalt plant close to County Road 2 and Palace Road.

“It did feel like it was a very David-versus-Goliath story,” said Casey Wells, a Napanee resident opposed to the asphalt plant.

“It was very unexpected but a very good delivery, and we got everything we wanted with the 7-0 vote in that we’re a non-willing host. I couldn’t ask for more.”

Greater Napane Mayor Marg Isbestor was the last to vote against the zoning amendment at council’s Tuesday evening meeting.

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“Council just decided it was the wrong place and wrong time,” said Isbestor. “I was pleasantly surprised that it was unanimous because it means that council is standing together for all of our residents here in Greater Napanee.”

Council’s rejection of the zoning amendment went against the staff recommendation to approve Tomilinson’s application, but Isbestor says it came down to a could versus should decision and it isn’t the first time council has gone against a staff recommendation.

“The staff recommendation and the reports that came through are all according to provincial policy statement. They’re the ones that set out what has to be met, and many of them are minimum standards. Whereas, we were looking for maximum standards to try and protect our residents,” said Isbestor.

Tomlinson has 20 days to appeal the council decision to the Ontario Land Tribunal.

Wells hopes Tomlinson Group of Companies will not go that route.

“Democracy has spoken that the area right now is currently retail and residential, and it’s not concurrent with the industrial pollution that would come from an asphalt plant or a concrete batching plant that close to town. So we are hopeful that Tomlinson, as a responsible corporate citizen, they respect the decision that the town has made, that the citizens have made.”

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Rob Pierce, senior vice-president for planning and development for the Tomlinson Group of Companies, provided Global Kingston with a written statement about council’s decision.

“We strongly disagree with Council’s decision. Our senior leadership team will be taking time to further review the planning report, as well as the basis for Council’s decision, before deciding next steps,” wrote Pierce.

Prior to council’s decision a petition with over 3,000 signatures opposed to the proposed asphalt plant was submitted to council.


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