Hearing Officer Susan Schiller has confirmed, as of July 3, that the current Amaranth Ontario Municipal Board hearing will be for 29 days commencing September 11, and that the parties have yet to settle on their final list of issues to be argued.
In the meantime, one more corporation has been given party status. Allto Investments Holdings Inc., represented by Orangeville lawyer Bill Stutz, has previously appealed the township’s zoning – but generally with respect to land uses, including the extraction of peat, along with certain Official Plan sections dealing with wind energy.
Allto’s appeals, for which it is a party in the current hearing, had commenced in an OMB hearing in 2006. On a motion by Amaranth, those appeals have been separated from the earlier hearing, and brought forward to this current one.
It is the only appellant of two specific sections of the OP, and has asked for separate days to be set aside for its portion of the hearing. Ms. Schiller deferred that request for a decision by whatever panel of the Board is in place for the September hearing.
In her current decision, Ms. Schiller lists the Townships of Amaranth and Melancthon as parties to the Amaranth hearing, along with Canadian Hydro Developers and Allto Investments. All of those are represented by counsel.
She lists Paul Thompson, Theresa Kidd and Roy and Teresa Brownell as self-represented parties.
Mr. Thompson is also seeking party status in an appeal of site-plan approval for a second transformer at the substation. However, there is still no decision in that regard as the matter had not come fully before the Board.
In the initial pre-hearings, there were more than 50 issues listed. Ms. Schiller said some of those were items “of concern” rather than issues to be resolved by the Board.
The list, she notes, would now be fewer than 50, but there are still some to be otherwise resolved prior to the hearing. The final issue list will be issued when that happens.
In the planning for the wind farm, CHD had proposed 29 zoning bylaw amendments but always intended to erect turbines only at 21 sites. It has agreed to delete the eight as turbine locations, but wants to retain the right to construct and use power lines on those properties. Amaranth “is not prepared to provide the confirmation CHD seeks” in that regard.
Ms. Schiller notes at that point that the township’s “comprehensive zoning bylaw is before the Board in case PL050096 (from last year) and has not been disposed of at this time.”
At some point before the hearing, Amaranth has agreed to provide CHD with copies of certain materials that are before the Board in the 2006 hearing.
However, CHD in return has agreed to provide specific additional information about its wind turbine site plans, along with additional information with respect to several of the zoning bylaw amendment forms.
The final issue list and the procedural order for the hearing have still to be issued.
By Wes Keller
5 July 2007
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