Court declares the application moot

UPDATE — Jan 17, 2008

The court session for our Judicial Review has now been set for April 7, 2008.

UPDATE — Feb 25, 2008

The new date for a court hearing on the Judicial Review is now June 9, 2008.

UPDATE — Sep 19, 2008

We now have a firm court date for the Judicial Review of the OMB’s dismissal of our appeal of two zoning by-law amendments that would permit construction of Phase 2 of the Findlay Creek Village subdivision at Leitrim Wetland.

The hearing will be held on October 2 and 3, 2008 at the Provincial Courthouse on Elgin Street, starting at 10 a.m. (court room not assigned at this time).  The case will be heard by a panel of three judges, Associate Chief Justice J.D. Cunningham, the Honourable Mr. Justice L.K. Ferrier, and the Honourable Madam Justice D.E. Bellamy.

The public is invited!


UPDATE — Oct 19, 2008: Judicial Review shut down!

The long-awaited Judicial Review of earlier decisions affecting Leitrim Wetland came to an early end on October 2.  In a Kafkaesque decision, the three-judge panel  accepted a Motion by the City declaring our review application moot, that is, no longer relevant. Once again, we have been deprived of the opportunity to be heard on the substance of our case.

Incredibly, the City’s argument was that the new Comprehensive Zoning By-law will come into force later this month and that the zoning provisions for the subject lands were not appealed. Our counter was that there was nothing new in these provisions and that an appeal would therefore be superfluous since an appeal process (namely this Judicial Review application) was ongoing.

In short, we lost on a technicality. Here are the panel’s (unanimous) written reasons for the decision.  City and Tartan have indicated that they will ask for costs.

This is by no means the end of the battle. Developing in and adjacent to a wetland requires extensive dewatering over long periods. Any taking of water (whether through pumping or across the surface) over 50,000 litres per day is subject to a Permit from the Ontario Ministry of Environment. We were already before the Environmental Review Tribunal for an appeal of a Permit To Take Water (PTTW) and won the first round. We have now commented on the pending so-called “Future Stages Permit” and will see if this 10-year Permit will be issued.  Even without full disclosure, we have considerable evidence that, even today, the wetland is suffering degradation because of water table lowering. Further dewatering, we believe, will accelerate the damage.