Thursday, January 26, 2012

Do archaeological assessment at recycling site, Hunter urges


Jamie Hunter holds a restored Huron pot that was found at a local archaeological excavation
Huronia museum curator Jamie Hunter this week reiterated his suggestion that a comprehensive archaeological assessment should be carried out before development of a proposed recycling facility at 1001 Franke Kindred Rd.
Hunter made the suggestion to Wes Crown, Midland's director of planning and development, in a letter dated Oct. 28, 2011. The letter was discussed earlier this month at the planning and development committee meeting.

"I would respectfully request that the developer/proponent of the re-cycling plant do a comprehensive archaeological assessment of the property before serious development on the site commences, and as town Planner you do have the ability to see that this takes place," the letter said.

Coun. Pat File said when the re-zoning application was made the committee was told it had been done. "There could be important stuff there," she said.

Crown said his department is committed to the protection of archaeological resources. "We look at every development application. He said the department had relied on a report that had been prepared by Hunter and followed the province's archaeological guidelines.

"There had been a disturbance on the site. There had been a restaurant there," he explained.
Coun.  Jack Charlebois said there had been a hydro development on the land. "If they had found something (the project) would have been shut down. There was also a restaurant that disturbed the land. There's been a lot of work done there. We made our decision with the best information available."

In his letter, Hunter noted that the entire area including Midland, Penetanguishene, Tay, Tiny, Springwater, Oro- Medonte, Severn and Orillia have one of the highest densities of archaeological and heritage resources in Ontario.

"While I have tried over the years to impress upon local planners the need for doing archaeological assessments, it seems I just can't get either Upper Tier or Lower Tier municipalities to take this issue seriously, or at least as seriously and methodically as we should, for the preservation of our archaeological and historical resources."
"There are at least 8 archaeological sites including burials that are located within one kilo-metre of Sainte-Marie.
"If I can be of any assistance in any heritage matter please don't hesitate to call. I can give you information on site locations -- not all are on the ministry site files -- and in some cases we can actually tell a developer what to expect and whether they are working in a high potential area or a low potential area," Hunter's letter added.

Crown said that Hunter has been invited to sit on the technical review committee, an invitation Hunter said this week he is pleased to accept.
An application from Recycling Specialties Inc. to re-zone the Franke Kindred Rd. land to industrial zone M2 from highway commercial zone HC so it could build the recycling facility was approved in 2011 following a public meeting at which no objections were raised.

Since then, the Martyr's Shrine and Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons, supported by the Jesuits in English Canada, have registered their objections to the project, The Shrine and Sainte- Marie said they had not learned about the project until after the 30-day period hto launch an Ontario Municipal Board appeal had expired.

The site plan application was to have come before the committee in December for approval. However, a statement released by the town said the company had agreed to delay its application until February to allow the parties time to discuss the matter.

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