PHOTO CREDIT: SAVE THE WOODLOT
The Public Works meeting on August 16th, 2017 is one many of us have been looking forward to. This meeting represents the first of the last big steps (the second being Town Council next week) that could finally ensure that the Irish Wood Lot is protected from having a major roadway plowed through it in the name of the unneeded Livingston Avenue extension.
Despite the meeting being on a Wednesday at 4:30 PM (Town Hall), we highly encourage everyone who can to come out to this meeting and show that you support saving the woodlot and support those individuals such as Bruce McKenzie, who have worked tirelessly to save this unique and significantly important piece of nature.
The Agenda for the meeting is viewable at this link: https://grimsby.civicweb.net/filepro/documents/?preview=85800
If you don’t feel like reading the entire document, we will pick out a very interesting part of it… the Town/Mayor appear to be attempting to drag the issue out (probably past the 2018 Municipal Election) through requesting an Environmental Assessment (EA) on the wood lot. They have even included a “fill in the blanks” resolution to seemingly try and sway the atmosphere of the proceedings.
Rarely are EA’s commissioned when an area is being considered for conservation, rather they are undertaken in support of development purposes.
In support of the narrative of “We’re Going West”, the Town has selectively included and seems to be relying heavily on one letter from a group of landowners … landowners who support the extension, want the lands removed from the Greenbelt and support their lands for development and growth.
Here is what they wrote:
Seeing as the proposed extension would cut right through their land (and the land of others), resulting in “frontage” onto an extended Livingston Avenue… as usual, we will leave you to decide what these landowners possible motivation is.
Niagara Region bounced this issue back to Grimsby for an answer… YES or NO to the Livingston Avenue Extension. It’s a question with two answers, so if the Town is requesting an EA from the Region it can be interpreted as a veiled YES to putting the road through. The public consultation component of the EA would most likely be an act of “going through the motions” to pacify the public, somewhat.
The science is quite clear… you can not remove trees through deforestation, put in a road and *not* damage an ecosystem. If you look to scholarly articles there is quite a body of work that supports this point of view, no need for an Environmental Assessment.
Now, more than ever, we encourage you to write the Mayor and your Alderman and ask them to “Save The Woodlot”. Conservation does not need an Environmental Assessment and the Public Works Committee and Council have the opportunity to finally put this matter to rest by voting with their conscience (and constituents) for conservation.
Important points to consider in your calls, letters and e-mails to the Mayor and Members of Council:
- The original Environmental Assessment in 2014 was cancelled before any Public Information Centres were held.
- The Environmental Assessment was started in 2014 in an attempt to interfere with the Greenbelt before its review in 2015. The Greenbelt Review is complete and it is not changing.
- The proposed roadway would be entirely in the Greenbelt where development cannot take place, thus there is no reason for the road.
- The extension is unnecessary as the area is served by other roads already. The community cannot afford $8.5 million+ for a new 1.6 km road that is unwarranted.
- The Irish Grove Wood Lot is the most significant Wood Lot on the Lake Ontario Plain in Niagara and therefore a major road will only do significant damage to it.
- Over 1100 people have signed a petition against the road.
- The Region’s Transportation Master Plan endorses Active Transportation for bicyclist and walkers.
- A year round multi-use trail on the unopened road right of way could connect with the new Waterfront Trail via Oakes Road. The Town has the opportunity to make the unused road right of way into a wonderful asset for the community rather than paving through the wood lot which would divide the community.
For more information, please contact Bruce Mackenzie at Save the Wood Lot via email at Kintail52@gmail.com or via telephone at (905) 973-4869.
Town Council Contact Information:
|Alderman Dave Kadwell
|Alderman Steve Berry
|Alderman Carolyn Mullins
|Alderman Joanne Johnston
|Alderman Michelle Seaborn
|Alderman Dave Wilson
|Alderman John Dunstall
|Alderman Nick DiFlavio
|Mayor Bob Bentley
|Regional Councillor Tony Quirk