Tuesday, November 17, 2020

THE SHAM OF PROFESSIONAL PLANNING ???

Sure enough the Hawk Ridge proposal is back for yet another kick at the can. Sure enough the first time around Woolwich Council were against this proposed subdivision in the centre of Uniroyal/Chemtura's "kill zone" in the case of their "Worst Case Scenario" which happened to be a major spill of Anhydrous Ammonia. This time around Woolwich's planning department are recommending that Council approve this subdivision, still located across Union street from Uniroyal/Lanxess Canada and Sulco (Canada Colours). .................................................................................................. What has changed? Perhaps better noise insulation in walls facing Union St. and or fewer windows also facing Union St. This may be combined with better sound reducing barrier walls erected again to reduce noise pollution from the late night trains at both Lanxess and Sulco. There has also been further actions similar to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic prior to disaster be it striking an iceberg or toxic fugitive emissions from either company. These other "actions" include warning clauses on the property deeds or rental agreements. Warning clauses not about possible life long injuries or death but about noise and odours including odours from the nearby Sewage Treatment Plant at the bottom (east end) of First St. Yes we are told (by Lanxess) that Anhydrous Ammonia is no longer present but where are the specifics and details regarding their latest "Worst Case Scenario"? Without that Woolwich Councillors are as usual being kept in the dark. .............................................................................................. There are supposedly Ministry of Environment Minimum Setbacks from Class III Heavy Industries. These setbacks are 300 metres. As well there are calculated Potential Areas of Influence as in potential negative consequences which are 1,000 metres from heavy industry such as Lanxess Canada. The Hawk Ridge proposal is within Sulco's Area of Influence although it is not within their Minimum Setback distance. Interestingly there are only two companies within BOTH the Minimum Setback distance as well as within the potential Area of Influence. Those two companies are Uniroyal/Lanxess and the former Varnicolor Chemical at the corner of First and Union St. Euphemistically that property is referred to as a "Storage Yard". Hence this proposed new residential subdivision is basically surrounded by problems especially when you add in noise, dust, and odours from Lanxess, Sulco and the Sewage Treatment Plant. Warning clauses will do little or nothing once the already having happened disasters strike again whether chlorine releases, toxic smoke from fires, sulpher type emissions from Sulco or whatever mechanical or human error occurs yet again most likely from the Lanxess property. Oh and by the way, the Ministry of Environment's Minimum Setbacks, just like more of their rules and regulations, can and will be be circumvented via mitigating actions such as additional reports being required dealing with noise and odours. Or in the alternative, as the toxic plume is approaching, all the residents can frantically wave their copies of these reports at the approaching death and injury, in the hope of blowing it away. Personally I would suggest particular local politicians give a speech in the direction of the approaching death cloud, again hoping that their hot air will save the day. ................................................................................................................... Long live hot air, planning departments and provincial planning legislation. Perhaps it protects our governments from lawsuits after readily forseeable disasters strike. Or perhaps planning departments and legislation are simply tools to permit otherwise ridiculous and incompatible use development where common sense clearly dictates it should not go.

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