By Bob Bruton, Barrie Examiner
Plans for a new cement plant in south-Barrie could be slowed by an old city agreement with a neighbour.
A public meeting was held earlier this week on Champlain Ready Mix’s application to amend the Official Plan and zoning bylaw to allow the plant to be built on the west side of Rawson Avenue, 4.5 acres of city land.
But Brian Westgarth-Taylor, whose wife Judith owns nearby 140 Lockhart Rd. — called Lockhart Farm —says a restrictive covenant with the city guarantees that noxious odours and/or excessive noise will not affect the property.
Westgarth-Taylor asked councillors to honour this agreement, which dates back to 2005.
“Would you allow a cement plant to be built next to any legal residence in the city of Barrie?” he asked. “Or next to your house?”
Westgarth-Taylor says Lockhart Farm has been rented out to the same occupants for 30 years.
Planner Margaret Walton of Planscape, speaking for Champlain, said the Ready Mix plant would deploy dust-mitigation measures and noise control.
“This is a heavy industrial use which is required to support development,” she said in her presentation Monday. “It must be located somewhere.”
While the city owns this land and council approved its sale last June, that sale is conditional upon Champlain getting all the required municipal approvals to build its plant – such as the rezoning and redesignation.
Westgarth-Taylor, however, isn’t the only one with objections.
Craig Busch, of Busch Systems International, is directly across Rawson Avenue from where Champlain wants to build. He has visual, health and environmental impact concerns about a cement plant there.
Cocoa Paving is also located just south of where Champlain wants to build and Lafarge Barrie Ready Mix is near Rawson and Saunders Road.
“By allowing another cement plant into this area, we are creating a bit of a cement ghetto,” Busch said.
Coun. Arif Khan, who represents this part of Barrie, had concerns about dust control at the cement plant.
“When I mix cement, there’s dust everywhere — especially over me,” he said. “How can you enforce dust control?”
But city planning director Stephen Naylor said dust control can be addressed if and when this matter gets to the site control stage, along with buffering, distance from other buildings and trees.
“Dust is a byproduct of concrete ready mix operations,” said Walton.
“However, this will be a new facility that will have best-management practices in place to minimize dust production.
“The noise will be muffled to reduce the impact during peak operation times.”
She said the plant would be located well back on the site, with truck parking and washing facilities to the side or back, adjacent to the rail line.
If these applications receive council approval, Champlain plans to open the plant this fall.
A public meeting is one of the first stages in Barrie’s planning process. These applications now go to city planning staff for a report to city councillors.
Naylor said he does not expect that report before August.
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