| Aug 05, 2010

Municipal composting controversy surfaces again in Central Frontenac

A group of South and Central Frontenac residents who live in the vicinity of the Westport Road will be challenging one of the proposed changes for the new Central Frontenac comprehensive zoning bylaw.

Their objection harkens back to a dispute that was played out at Central Frontenac Council early in 2008. At the time, Shea Construction was proposing to establish a regional composting site for source-separated organic waste at their property on the Westport Road, which is located not far from the border with South Frontenac and 13 Island Lake.

One of the hold-ups at the time came from the zoning of the property. At the time the zoning permitted a “composting facility for the processing of leaf and yard waste where the waste originates from the municipality.”

Shea Construction was bidding on a contract to provide a composting facility for a new green box program for the City of Kingston and they wanted to use their Westport Road facility for that purpose. They proposed changing the zoning bylaw to permit a composting facility for the processing of source-separated organics with no limits on the origin of the waste.

A public meeting on the proposal was held on April 21, 2008. A number of local residents registered their concerns about the proposal, which ranged from potential odour, groundwater contamination, increased presence of rodents, etc.

After the public meeting Council directed their planning consultant, Glenn Tunnock, to prepare a report in response to the issues that had been raised.

According to Glenna Asselstine, one of the adjacent property owners who appeared before Council on April 21, 2008, the mayor also made a commitment to keep the group of objectors informed as the process moved forward.

Subsequently the Kingston composting contract was awarded to someone else, causing Shea Construction to lose interest in the bylaw amendment.

As far as Glenna Asselstine knew, no planning report was ever prepared. “I know for sure that we never received any notice so I assumed the report was never brought to Council,” Assestine told The News.

The people who had objected did not think much further about the matter. But when the notice came out about an information session about the new Central Frontenac comprehensive zoning bylaw, Glenna Asselstine went to the CF website and searched through the lengthy document to see if there was anything about the lot in question or about municipal composting.

“I was surprised to find, on page 175 of the bylaw, under ‘Waste Management Facility’, under section 5.15.4, that an exception zone is included for that very property, which was exactly what Shea Construction had asked for,” Asselstine said.

A meeting of nearby residents was hastily convened, and they decided that at this point they must make their objections known to the municipality.

“We feel that the township tried to slip this into the zoning bylaw, Glenna Asselstine said.

She has sent an email to the township CAO asking him if it was a staff or a council initiative to put the change into the comprehensive zoning bylaw.

Asselstine said that she has contacted more than half of the members of Council, and none of them indicated that they were aware of the proposed change in zoning, which only applies to the Shea property.

“All I know is that if we wish to appeal the comprehensive zoning bylaw, we must raise an objection in person or in writing, so we will deliver our objection in person on Saturday,” she said.

A public information session on the new zoning bylaw will take place on Saturday, August 7, at the Oso Hall between 10 am and 1 pm.


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