The Ontario Municipal Board has denied a motion to defer the Melancthon portion of wind farm hearings until the Amaranth ones have been heard, or to defer the Melancthon decision until the Amaranth hearing concludes.
In other pre-hearing matters, a new lawyer on the scene appears to have served notice that he will challenge whether or not the siting of the proposed wind farm complies with many provisions of an official plan amendment that allows commercial-scale wind generators to be built in rural areas.
Hearing Officer Susan de Avellar Schiller delivered her decision on the deferral motion and other procedural matters for the Melancthon hearing last Wednesday.
That hearing gets under way at 10 a.m. in the Horning’s Mills community hall July 30, and is scheduled to last 15 days to resolve, among other things, as many as 12 issues remaining following the pre-hearing conferences.
James Feehely, a Tottenham lawyer who’s replacing Margaret Hutchinson as representative for about eight parties, might be expected to have additional expert witnesses available for the hearing, but he and all parties have only until June 15 to provide a list of those witnesses and their qualifications.
Ms. Schiller has directed that “expert witnesses in the same field shall have a meeting by no later than Tuesday, July 17, 2007, to try to resolve or reduce the issues for the hearing.”
The final issue list is in three sections: One issue asked whether the proposed amendments to the official plan conform with the Provincial Policy Statement; his six Official Plan (OP) issues deal largely with setbacks, including distances from lot lines; many of the OP issues cited are also raised under the heading of zoning amendments.
In addition to the eight represented by Mr. Feehely, there are six individuals with party status plus the two townships and Canadian Hydro Developers.
Melancthon Township is supporting the position taken by CHD.
Amaranth is represented in the Melancthon hearing to protect its own interests in the proposed wind-farm development.
Apart from the parties, there are 23 participants. (“Party” and “participant” status differ in their role and responsibility. For example, a party must attend regularly, and has the right to crossexamine. Participants don’t have to be there all the time, and are restricted in what they may do at the hearing.)
By Wes Keller
5 July 2007
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