Ontario Construction News staff writer
Guelph city council is expected to approve a ‘settlement pathway’ on March 30 – the next step in the closing the Dolime Quarry and redeveloping the site into a mixed-use development. It’s a move council says will protect the city’s water supply.
The settlement pathway is outlined in a report that includes findings of last fall’s Our Community, Our Water engagement program, and addresses the technical options for the on-site water management system and the need for approvals from various agencies for the redevelopment of the quarry site.
The public engagement program ran for nine weeks from October 1 to November 30, 2019. As reported by Guelph Today, the city heard from hundreds of residents through open houses, information sessions and online and found the majority of submitted comments including:
- environmental considerations are a focus of development planning, especially with respect to present wildlife and plants,
- development planning considers and mitigates increased traffic and is designed to be an accessible neighbourhood, and
- the City and taxpayers don’t bear responsibility for risks and costs of land development and water safety.
More information about the findings of the engagement program are available in the engagement report, including an appendix with submitted comments.
Jennifer Rose, general manager of Environmental Services is quoted by Guelph Today, saying: “It’s been a long journey to get to this point. We have a real, viable solution to address our drinking water concerns while also addressing the quarry owner’s commercial interests, and now we know our community is generally supportive of that solution.”
Guelph and the owners of the Dolime Quarry reached the potential solution in November.
If approved by Guelph City Council and the Province of Ontario, Dolime Quarry will close early and the site will be revitalized into a new mixed-use residential neighbourhood.
“After years of exploring a number of solutions through mediation over the last five years, this is a huge step forward,” Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie told Guelph Today in November. “We think closing the quarry early is a real win for our community because it will finally address our longstanding drinking water concerns.”
Dolime Quarry currently diverts about 11 million litres of water a day, some that could use for the drinking water supply when the city assumes control of the water.