MONO, ON (May 12, 2023) – The Ritchies sought to construct a horse training track for the standardbred horses they raise at their farm in the Town. Their construction proposal would require the importation of 22,000 m3 of fill. They applied to the Town for a variance to the Town fill by-law to permit the importation of fill. Town Council denied the application due to concerns over soil contamination, stormwater management, noise, dust, vibration, and traffic safety.
The Ritchies applied to the Normal Farm Practices Protection Board requesting that the Board determine that the Town’s fill by-law restricted their agricultural operation by preventing the importation of the required fill to construct the track. The Ritchies contended that their proposal was in keeping with normal farm practices.
In reaching the settlement, the Town carried out detailed engineering work that utilized fill available on the farm reducing the amount of fill to 17,500 m3.
Most importantly, the Town negotiated safeguards that provide for assurances that all provincial and municipal criteria, including those within the fill by-law for the importation of fill are respected. These safeguards include:
Town CAO, Mark Early, stated,
"The Town strongly supports its equine industry but also needs to ensure that any proposal protects the natural environment and ensures that the protections within the Town’s fill by-law are maintained. The Town is of the view that the settlement achieves this balance. The Town will go ahead with the approvals that incorporate the safeguards negotiated in the settlement agreement. A start date for construction of the standardbred horse track will be published once confirmed.”