Action in the northern part of the city over the Air Park shenanigans. Road accesss suspensions might be invoked.

In this regard, it will be necessary for the Region to enact a Bylaw in accordance with Section 11 of the Municipal Act, in order to exercise its authority under Section 35 of the Act.  This By-law will restrict/remove the owner’s right to access Appleby Line from the most southerly existing access, until such time as the requisite traffic impact study and safety audit are completed and a final recommendation is implemented. 

Regional Staff will contact the owners of the Burlington Airport to advise them of the Region’s intention to suspend the use of the south access and will present a By-law for Regional Council’s consideration, which will temporarily rescind the owner’s ability to utilize this access until such time as a final evaluation and resolution of the safety concerns referenced above are completed and implemented.

Barbara Sheldon look at 32 feet of landfill less than 50 feet from her kitchen window. All dumped without any permits because an airport is federally regulated. The city is not done with this issue.

When landfill is dumped on a property there has to be a paper trail – these are called tickets. In December of 2008, the airpark provided to the City a scanned PDF of a soil sample report pertaining to fill being imported to the site at that time.  This report consisted of a cover letter signed by a consulting engineer as well as a one page “Certificate of Analysis”.  The cover letter indicated that this soil originated from an area adjacent to the Bronte Road and QEW interchange.  This report was provided to the Manager of Development, Environmental and Transportation Engineering at that time.  His review concluded that the sample size was very small in consideration of the size of the filling operations, but noted that based on the numbers provided, the particular sample was of acceptable quality. 

Staff are of the understanding that soil sample information was also forwarded to the Region of Halton in March of 2009.  Region staff indicated that upon reviewing this information, the results met the Regional and Provincial standards for potable water as required in Table 2 of the Soil, Ground Water and Sediment Standards for Use Under Part XV.1 of the Environmental Protection Act. 

City staff are not certain as to the amount of information provided to the Region at that time ( number of reports) but will obtain these details from Region staff.  In addition, staff notes that the Region offered to continue to review these reports for subsequent fill to be imported, but City staff are uncertain as to whether any additional soil reports were provided to the Region by the airpark owner. 

The city has received an enquiry from the airport representative about a Noise exemption bylaw.  It is the city’s opinion that this bylaw does apply and we would not grant an exception to haul fill material between the hours of 11pm and 7am either on site or off.

The gall, the unmitigated gall.  There is strong reason to believe that in the least the air park people have bent rules to the point of breaking them; they have destroyed the value of at least one person’s property and threaten to destroy bot the value of a property and the livelihood of the people who live on it – and they now want to be able to drive trucks up and down the roads all night long.  Amazing.

Bruce Krushelnicki, the Chief Noise Control Officer for the City, can refuse to grant an exemption to the noise by-law, as can Council.  If the City receives noise complaints of an activity such as loading and unloading outside of the permitted hours, an offence notice ($300.00 fine) can be issued for each day the offence continues.  To seek a much larger fine and or a prohibition order, an appearance before a Justice of the Peace would be required with all relevant evidence presented for trial.

As of Friday, June 6th the City has received written notice that the Airport plans to haul the Hwy 407 asphalt grindings to the Airport site during daytime and night-time.  An excerpt from the email notice also states:

 “the Airport takes the position that our construction activities are not subject to municipal bylaws because of the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government over aeronautics, including the construction of permanent facilities at the Airport.”

These guys are going to continue to ride rough shod over everyone.

Cities usually require a security to ensure contractor performance and one such security was  requested from the Airport.    Mr. Grenier’s (Airport lawyer) letter dated May 27, 2013 states: “The Letter of Credit typically provided further to By-law 6-2003 will not be provided by the Airport as the said By-law does not apply to the construction activities at the Airport.”

Conservation Halton has been more aware of and involved with this situation than the city. In 2008, City staff contacted  Conservation Halton  t staff to determine their involvement in regulating the filling operations at that time.  CH staff indicated they had issued a Letter of Advice (LOA) pursuant to their Level II Agreement with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), and that the airpark was subject to DFO approvals which deal with federal fisheries legislation.  CH staff also indicated that they did not issue a permit under their regulations because they were of the understanding that the airpark was exempt.  City staff obtained a copy of the LOA, which pertained to the installation of a 600mm CSP culvert crossing of a tributary of Indian Creek.  The LOA was issued on the basis that the work proposed did not result in the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat, but also contained a number of conditions (such as sediment and erosion control) that were to be implemented and maintained. 

The Air Park owner is seeking permission to severe a portion of the land to the left of the end of the runway show.   Vanessa Williams fears the runway will then be extended to the edge of her property bringing an end to her equestrian business.

 In 1999 the airpark (under the previous owners) received approval of a consent application from the City’s Committee of Adjustment (Land Division Committee) to acquire a 12.7 acre portion of land to the south (from 5071 No 2 Side Road).  This decision was appealed to the OMB by a resident. 

The OMB upheld the Committee’s decision noting various reasons.  There is discussion in the OMB decision on various matters such as the history of the airpark, policy framework in effect at time of application, planning issues, safety issues (which included testimony from a Transport Canada staff member), and noise issues.  In addition, the decision indicates that City and Region planning staff supported the application. 

It appears that the reasons for acquiring the land were for the purposes of “protecting the airspace at the end of the runway”, and that there were no plans to extend the runway at that time.  However the runway was subsequently lengthened and paved to the extent shown today, but City staff are uncertain as to when this occurred.  Staff believes this could have occurred in or around 2002, and that filling operations occurred at that time to facilitate the extension.  Staff will continue to investigate to obtain detail on this history.   

So where do the locals stand in all this.  Monte Dennis, who was one of the “gladiators” in the fight to stop the creation of an additional international level airport in Pickering, sets it out this way:

Yes, locals were aware of some filling on the site. The filling seemed innocent enough, since, from Appleby Line not much could be seen.

Plans for expansion were made public, in the form of a couple of corn roasts for the locals. Such an expansion of this magnitude should have been made to many more with proper procedures etc. Open houses were only announced on a small-scale while the ultimate effect involved a large-scale.

The normal procedures of applications permits etc. were not applied for since the Airpark, it was claimed, was under the control of the Federal Government’s  Aeronautics Act.

 The City, the Region, the Locals were duped into believing this. Burlington, by the way, is not the first municipality to be duped as such.

Many letters had been written, inquiries made etc. with no responses, particularly from the local Federal MP, nothing!

There was actually a statement made that “only a few complaints were received”. Politicians apparently only count complaints so this was not considered a problem.

 Only by actually visiting the site can one get a sense of the enormity and human destructive effect of this amount of fill, to say nothing about the assault on the environment.

 Carrying on our day-to-day life, the locals assumed that fill operations were following the rules that everyone else has to play by, such as soil testing, that permits were being applied for; doing what the rest of us would have to do.

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2 comments to Action in the northern part of the city over the Air Park shenanigans. Road accesss suspensions might be invoked.

  • Alidë Camilleri

    The airport is not only affecting the lives of the residents along Appleby Line, but also those living on No. 2 and No.4 Sideroads. We have all complained to the city, and the Ward 6 council reps, past and present, without any results. Ms Lancaster used the corn roasts for pure publicity among residents south of Dundas as she announced the roasts at the airport at meetings to her constituents in that area, but never advised those actually affected by the airport. I am not stating anything here that I have not told her myself. I am certain that the City, Region, and Halton Conservation can do more than they have done so far, but the will to do so appears to be lacking.

    • stephanie cooper-smyth

      I just watched the video of last nite’s Council meeting, in which Barbara Sheldon (again and accurately) nailed Councilor Lancaster for her obvious loyalty to the Airpark owner and not to the Constituents who actually live in her Ward.

      Ward 6 DEFINITELY needs a new Councilor.