After a pre-hearing on November 2, a hearing date has been set in the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) case regarding an aggregate resources designation in the Jessup’s Falls area.

There will be second pre-hearing on April 27, 2017, and the hearing itself is set to begin on October 2, 2017. It’s expected to last five weeks. Both will be held at 717 Notre Dame Street in Embrun, in Russell Township.

The process was set in motion when 15 parties filed appeals against an aggregate resources designation on a property in Jessup’s Falls. The designation was included in a revised United Counties official plan, but was removed by council when citizens protested, in part because it would open the door for the development of an asphalt plant at the property. However, when the province reviewed the official plan, it put the aggregate designation back.

Those opposed to the aggregate designation, including members of the group “No Zoning for Asphalt Plant,” neighbors of the property, and the municipality of Alfred Plantagenet, have said there are fragile and rare rock formations in the area which should be protected by the official plan. The official grounds for appeal argue that aggregate extraction should not be allowed near Jessup’s Falls,  “as evidence indicates that a karst aquifer and recharge area is present on the site” and that “an asphalt plant should not be allowed in the Township of Alfred and Plantagenet due to concerns about health, groundwater, and natural features.”

Alfred-Plantagenet’s council voted to be among the parties appealing the aggregate designation, but missed the OMB’s March 21, 2016 appeal deadline. The United Counties council will have to pay legal fees during the hearing.