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SLCO / Lippa Quarry Update - What to Expect at the OMB

31 Jul 2017 3:03 PM | Jeff Crocker (Administrator)

SLCO is continuing preparations for the Lippa Pit/Quarry Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing. Many of you probably have questions about what to expect at an OMB hearing. Here is a brief take on the hearing process from our lawyers at Donnelly Law.

Hearing Process: While each OMB hearing is unique, aggregate applications generally follow the same process leading up to the hearing.

  • Step 1: The Prehearing Conference. Mr. Lippa filed his appeal on July 10, 2017. The Prehearing conference should be scheduled for a one-day Board attendance within a few months of receiving Mr. Lippa's application. Prehearings deal with procedure and set out a roadmap for the hearing. At the Prehearing, the Board will determine and grant "Party" and "Participant" status.

 It is important to get a good turnout to the Prehearing conference. 

  • Step 2: The Hearing Issues. The parties to the appeal list their "issues" for the hearing. For example, does the application conform with the Township Official Plan? Are negative impacts to Skeleton Lake expected? Will the operation meet Provincial noise limits? Since Mr. Lippa appealed Council's decision, the onus is on Mr. Lippa to prove his application is good planning and complies with planning requirements. 
  • Step 3: Witness Lists and Statements. The parties to the appeal advise each other who they will call to give evidence.  OMB hearings focus mainly on expert evidence. For an aggregate application like this , we can expect to hear from a range of disciplines: land use planning, terrestrial and aquatic ecology, hydrogeology (groundwater), hydrology (surface water), water quality, traffic engineering and safety, cultural heritage, and acoustical engineering.  In advance of the hearing, witnesses are required to produce a witness statement, which is a summary of their professional opinion, key conclusions and recommendations, based on their investigations and analysis.
  • Step 4: Hearing on the Merits. We anticipate this hearing will be 2-3 weeks in length. It is rare for the Provincial Government to intervene and participate in an OMB hearing. SLCO will be asking both the MNRF and MOECC to defend the important environmental features involved in this application, including Skeleton Lake. 


Role for the Public: Many people are asking how they can get involved and support SLCO for the OMB hearing.

  • Attendance: OMB prehearings and hearings on the merit are open to the public. A hearing day is typically 10 am - 4 pm. We expect the hearing on the merits to be scheduled sometime in Spring 2018, at the earliest.
  • Support SLCO: Let your local Councillor know your position, ask questions about the hearing, or donate to help cover our expert consultant, legal and hearing fees.

Scott May


The Skeleton Lake Cottagers Organization

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