Fill bylaw empty without public input says Grey Highlands council

·2 min read

Grey Highlands council will seek public input before approving and adopting a new site alteration and fill bylaw.

At its meeting on May 3, Grey Highlands council voted to defer the proposed bylaw until a public meeting about the proposed new regulations could be held.

The proposed bylaw has been in the works for several years with several drafts coming to council and alterations and amendments being made.

The proposed bylaw would introduce regulations for placing and dumping of fill, the removal of topsoil, the alteration of the grade of the land and the rehabilitation of the site.

In the past, council asked for a bylaw to be drafted to regulate medium and large fill operations with a focus on protecting municipal infrastructure (roads, bridges and culverts) and the natural environment.

“This bylaw ensures all site alteration and fill projects within the municipality are in accordance with applicable legislation, regulations, guidelines etc. enacted by the federal and provincial governments,” said Alysha Milliner, manager of infrastructure, in her report. “Another key component to this bylaw is the haul route approval and agreement. Staff have the capability to ensure that the municipality’s public highway(s) and infrastructure are not negatively impacted by the site alteration activity including but not limited to the transportation of fill to and/or from the property upon which the site alteration is occurring.”

The draft bylaw includes the following fees:

After receiving the bylaw and report, council had to decide whether to proceed and have the final bylaw come forward for approval at the next meeting or seek public input on the matter.

“This should go to a public meeting,” said Mayor Paul McQueen. “We’re talking about people’s land here. This is something that is affecting people’s land.”

Other members of council questioned if a public meeting is necessary.

“It’s fairly nice. I wonder if this requires public input. I have a feeling it will be somewhat futile,” said Coun. Joel Loughead.

Ultimately council decided in favour of a deferral of the bylaw until a public meeting can be held. The date and time for the meeting will be announced in the near future.

Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,