2017 Harvest

2017 Harvest

Monday, April 26, 2010

OMB upholds Huron County decision to allow storage of "processed organic non-agricultural source material" at farm

The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) has dismissed an appeal of a zoning decision by the Municipality of Huron East which allowed for the storage of "processed organic material" in existing farm buildings on a farm property.  The material to be stored by Ontario Greenways Inc. near Monkton, Ontario is a "biosolid" from the Cargill Better Beef meat processing plant and contains beef tissue residues.  The "biosolid" would then be spread on land as a fertilizer.

Neighbours of the proposed operation appealed the Municipality's approval of the zoning changes required on the basis that the proposed use is not an agriculturally related use but a waste transfer facility that is not consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), does not conform to the County of Huron and Municipality of Huron East Official Plans and does not represent good planning.  Besides concerns about non-agricultural aspects of the project, neighbours were worried about the odour problem that would be created.  Neighbours' residences are located as close as 440 metres from the proposed storage site.

In the end, the OMB found that the proposed use was related to agriculture and consistent with the PPS that encourages waste products to be diverted away from landfill sites and encourages agricultural uses.  As far as odour concerns go, the OMB said that the project would require a Certificate of Approval (CofA) from the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and that odour could be addressed in that process. 

Of note, the OMB did say the following about the Municipality's approach to the zoning change:
The Board notes that the Municipality's rush to make a decision in case of comments made to the MOE and the finalizing of the rezoning gave the Appellants the feeling that their concners about odour and other environmental impacts were not given adequate consideration.
Perhaps this is a slap on the wrist for the Municipality.

Read the decision at: Rastorfer et al. v. Municipality of Huron East.