Residents want answers regarding scrapyard

By Alex Coop – Staff Writer |  May 19, 2016

Toronto lawyer Frank Zechner is often called in to assist after the hazardous material is spilled.

But after his presentation raising concerns Scrap-Yard-May-12-2016.pdf about a new scrapyard to Minden Hills council last Thursday on behalf of the Gull Lake Cottagers Association, he said it was nice for once to be able to discuss a proposed project before ground was actually broken.

The council chamber was packed with people opposed to the proposal for the yard about five kilometres south of Minden on Highway 35.“There are a lot of local residents here, and we thank them for showing up,” Zechner said. He began by reiterating the cottage association’s demand that the municipality consider the impact a nearby salvage yard would create for residents and wildlife.

The proposed project would be located directly next to the Hunter Creek Estates housing development, which is also surrounded by small creeks and wetlands. “The accepting, storing, dismantling and processing of end of life automobiles involves the handling and potential release into the natural environment of significant quantities of fuels, oils … and toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury, power steering fluids and battery acid,” says the association statement on its concerns. Zechner also noted there is no detailed site plan and expressed concern about runoff into nearby lakes and rivers. After the meeting, the lawyer, who specializes in environment and construction cases, said he was surprised town planner Ian Clendening overlooked a section of the municipality’s official plan that now requires an amendment because of the proposed scrap yard. “I would have thought the planner went through the official plan with a fine tooth comb and analyzed everything in the official plan and zoning bylaws as part of council’s decision-making process,” he said.

Clendening said staff missed the sub-section of the official plan, which states “no [waste disposal or waste treatment] will be located within 500 meters of development other than compatible uses …” during the initial reception of the zoning bylaw amendment last summer.  “I have identified that to the applicant and identified that, as a result of this section, an official plan amendment would be required,” he said. The applicant of the project is Steve Beaver, owner of Steve Beaver Trucking and Excavating. The municipality is also waiting for the applicant to submit an environmental and noise impact study. Zechner reminded council about Ontario Regulation 85/16, which comes into effect in September. It includes changes to regulations involving construction projects like the proposed scrapyard. “If equipment is being placed there now, they should be following these new regulations from the get-go,” he said. Councillor Jeanne Anthon said she was pleased with how “exceptionally detailed” the association’s presentation was.


“People should be very pleased with the level of information you have provided,” she said.

Minden Hills Reeve Brent Devolin said staff have asked the province for details about the new regulation, but so far there has been no answer.


The new regulation can be viewed at

The cottagers association and other residents have been voicing their concerns about a proposed scrapyard development since October. – See more at: