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Advocacy

2024

 

 

April 3, 2024 -

Bakelite developers seeking to build 599 housing units

Belleville Planning Advisory Committee heard Tuesday a proposal by developers of the Bakelite Thermosets industrial brownfield lands to create 599 housing units for a city in dire need of new housing units. CITY OF BELLEVILLE
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Belleville Planning Advisory Committee heard Tuesday a proposal by developers of the Bakelite Thermosets industrial brownfield lands to create more housing for a city in dire need of new housing units.
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A rezoning application has been received by the city for the 37.5 hectare property into four zones.

 

If approved by city council in future, rezoning at 621 Dundas Street East would pave the way to build 599 residential dwellings on the property, including including 185 apartment dwellings, 176 stacked townhouse dwellings, 130 townhouse dwellings, 36 single-detached dwellings, and 72 back-to-back stacked townhouse dwellings.

“The application also proposes multi-use trails and parkland,” said Kimar Francis, principal planner of the city’s Engineering and Development Services Department in a report to the committee Tuesday.

Francis said: “A corresponding Draft Plan of Subdivision is currently being reviewed by staff. No residential development is proposed on the portion of land designated Environmental Protection.”

He noted that an “application for Zoning By-law amendment to amend the zoning of the subject land was deemed complete by the City of Belleville on Feb. 29 … additionally, the city received a corresponding draft plan of subdivision application for the subject property. This application was also deemed complete by the City of Belleville on Feb. 29 and is currently under review by staff.”

Speaking on behalf of the applicant, Miles Weekes, senior planner with Fotenn Planning, said the rezoning application was needed to “establish performance standards for the site that aligns with the unique nature of the site.”

“The intent of the application is to redevelop this brownfield site to a vibrant community which reopens the Waterfront Trail extensions and a new public park,” Weekes informed the committee.
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Any proposed development would not occur on wetlands deemed environmentally sensitive, he said.

“The proposed development respects the boundary established by the Quinte Conservation
Authority,” Weekes said.

Lori Borthwick was the only public speaker in the meeting on behalf of Quinte Naturalists.

Borthwick urged the committee to ensure that the natural areas along the lagoon and waterfront were protected to ensure the health of up to 164 species she said live within that part of the property.

Acknowledging there is a buffer zone in place between proposed development of housing and the natural areas, Borthwick posited mitigation measures would help the bird population that populate the wetland corridor along the bay.
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She posited that measures such as bird-safe glass to avoid bird strikes on structures as well as dimmer street lighting would go a long way to keeping birds healthy.

The planning committee took no action on the rezoning application.

However, city staff will report back to the committee after gathering input from the public, commenting agencies for further review by the city’s Engineering and Development Services Department.

 

January 15, 2024 - 

 

In July 2023 a QFN sub committee met with the Green Task Force of Belleville to present the position of QFN on the importance of coexistence with beavers. The sub committee stressed the fact that beavers are critical for the preservation of the wetlands that are so important in sustaining biodiversity, particularly in the face of the current massive global loss of biodiversity and extinction of species. They implored the GTF to ask the Belleville council to follow the recommendations made by QFN in March and to amend their current wildlife/trapping policy.

 

In December 2023 the Belleville Council accepted the recommendation of the Green Task Force to make only one modification to their approach to beaver conflict management: 

 

That some members of the Department of Transportation attend an on-line course given by the Beaver Corps Training Program from the Beaver Institute.

 

This was not a recommendation made by QFN because it takes years of training and experience to successful deal with wildlife conflicts in a non lethal manner.

 

The GTF did not adopt any of the following recommendations made by QFN that:

Belleville council amend their wildlife/trapping policy to provide clear directives and procedures that would allow coexistence with wildlife. 

Experienced wildlife management professionals are employed to achieve this goal.

 

Belleville’s current wildlife policy states that their goal is coexistence with wildlife, but it outlines in great length trapping procedures while including only one sentence about the use of non lethal beaver management methods.  There are no clear directives and procedures with safeguards to ensure that these methods are tried before resorting to trapping.  

 

In other words the decision to resort to trapping instead of first trying nonlethal methods is not based on any policy procedure but is made as a subjective evaluation by the Transportation Department.

 

In conclusion, the situation for Belleville beavers, except for a plan to attend on-line training, has not changed as is indicated by the title of the article in The Intelligencer, “Beaver trapping will continue to prevent flooding”. Thirty seven beavers have been killed in the last few years, 9 of which were killed in 2023.

2023

  • July 28, 2023 - Quinte Field Naturalists presented a deputation to the Green Task Force of
    Belleville.  The objective was to clarify the position of QFN regarding the importance of
    coexistence with wildlife, especially beavers as they are critical for the creation and
    maintenance of wetlands.  Information was provided on the wildlife policies of other Canadian
    cities that have beaver management plans focusing on non lethal mitigation measures
    implemented by wildlife management professionals.  
    This science based approach allows beavers to remain in place while minimizing any negative
    consequences of their activities.  It is cost effective and sustainable, unlike trapping and killing
    wildlife.  QFN urged the GTF to recommend to the Council of Belleville that they amend their
    current Wildlife Conflict Policy as it focuses almost entirely on trapping and killing
    beavers.  Twenty eight beavers have been killed in the last two years.
    Also present at the meeting were representatives from three other local organizations - Jess
    Pelow from Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre, Jonnathon Marconi, president of the Highland Waters
    Metis Council, and Marilyn Lawrie, executive director of The Humane Society of Hastings Prince
    Edward.  They read statements from their organizations supporting the recommendations of
    QFN to the City of Belleville.

  • February 22, 2023 - Disappointment re Reversal to Purchase Bakelite Property - The QFN expressed its deep disappointment and concern to the City of Belleville's mayor and councillors regarding the reversal of council's decision to purchase 8.4 acres of Bakelite property. Without this purchase, an environmentally sensitive area will remain in the ownership of developers.

2022

  • November 21, 2022 - Opposition to Provincial Government’s ‘Bill 23’ – The QFN was instrumental in cooperatively organizing two events locally in opposition to the Government’s ‘Bill 23’, which will result in the overwhelming majority of local wetlands loosing their protected status. A rally was held in Rossmore and a ‘requiem’ at the market square in Belleville to voice opposition to this bill.

  • October 24, 2022 - Historical Plaque – The QFN worked co-operatively with the Hastings CountyHistorical Society to see the installation of a bronze plaque commemorating the local connection to JohnMacoun, Canada’s first Dominion botanist. The plaque has been installed at Albert College, DundasStreet West, where Macoun was once a teaching master.

  • October 7, 2022 - Regional Junior Field Naturalists Club – The QFN is promoting a regional initiative toconsider establishing a junior field naturalists club in the surrounding region.

  • October 4, 2022 - Cassidy Block Cleanup – The QFN, working cooperatively with Quinte Conservation,successfully cleaned up several piles of refuse from the woods of the Cassidy Block (a large QC propertyto the east of Vanderwater Conservation Area.)

  • September 30, 2022 - Tree Planting – The QFN worked co-operatively with the Belleville HomeHardware store and the City of Belleville to secure $3,000 in funding with which to plant five large RedMaple trees at the Clarence Bird Park in the Fall.

  • September, 2022 - Turtle Nest Protectors – A group of club volunteers constructed 55 turtle nestprotectors for distribution to individuals to protect turtle nests on their property.   All 8 Ontario turtlespecies are listed as Species at Risk due to declining numbers.

  • July 26, 2022 - National Marine Conservation Area for eastern Lake Ontario – The QFN has lent itssupport to the call by Nature Canada for the establishment of a National Marine Conservation Area ineastern Lake Ontario, which would include the waters around Prince Edward County’s southern shore.

  • July 25, 2022 - Bakelite Property – The QFN was supportive of the City of Belleville’s initiative topurchase the former Bakelite property along the Bay of Quinte shoreline. The naturalized property is tobe preserved as a nature reserve.

  • June 15, 2022 - Bell Creek Watershed – The QFN has been supportive of the initiative to procureprotection of the green corridor of the Bell Creek Watershed that lies between the CN and CP rail lines,in the city’s east end.

  • May 10, 2022 - Pollinator Gardens - A group of club volunteers planted a demonstration pollinatorgarden at the Tweed Post Office in the Spring.  In addition, QFN has also established a partnership withthe Heart of Hastings Hospice to help them establish a pollinator garden on their property.  This is allin an effort to educate the public about declining pollinating insect populations and encourage theplanting of flowers that provide food and habitat for these species.

  • May 2, 2022 - Cigarette Butt Blitz – Several members of the QFN were active in collecting discardedcigarette butts in cooperation with the environmental organization ‘A Greener Future’. A local teamplaced third in Ontario for the number of butts collected.

  • January 28, 2022 - Nellie Lunn Park (Wollaston Township) – The QFN has actively supported thoseresidents of Wollaston Township who wish to see the natural area, Nellie Lunn Park, retained andpreserved for future generations of the township.

  • January 15, 2022 - Climate Protection Program Participation – The Quinte Field Naturalists actively advocated for all of the municipalities in this region to be participants in the ‘The Partners for Climate Proteciton’ Program, developed by the ‘Local Governments for Sustainability’ organization. The City of Belleville for one voted to participate in the program, with other municipalities agreeing to consider this option.

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