You may have heard about the 33 car/2 bus Parking lot that has been approved by the Niagara Escarpment Commission that will be built for $1,000,000 with Peel Region money, in Caledon.
The parking lot construction will require land fill and will be unsupervised and accessed from Olde Base Line road, an important arterial road, right on the property we call the “Cheltenham Badlands”.
For the past year, the project has been stalled because a small citizens group in Caledon launched an NEC appeal. We have decided to hire a lawyer to represent us at the hearing, We agitated some bureaucrats involved with the planning and approval, and they in turn will be represented by the attorney General of the Province (representing the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, The Ontario Heritage Trust) an attorney for Peel Region plus the Bruce Trail Conservancy, The Town of Caledon, Credit Valley Conservation and of Course Ministry of Natural Resources, since the NEC is an agency of that Ministry.
Our battle is estimated to be between $50,000 to $80,000, and we think that it is worth while to try to preserve the natural heritage site for future generations. The property has been held by the Province since 2000 during which time nothing has been done to preserve or to protect the property from human foot traffic erosion. The Clay hills have lost 3 meters in the past 7 years! The ridges and gullies are disappearing – thanks to human traffic.
The Cheltenham Badlands are only 39 hectares – as compared to the ALBERTA BADLANDS which are 19,000 acres, and the ones in the United States are well over 250,000 acres. It is incomprehensible to think that paving part of this small property is part of a ‘preservation’ plan. It is equally incomprehensible that allowing free access (which causes erosion) without an admission charge is viewed as ‘tourism’.
It is also important to note that the parking lot plan does not include turn lanes off of Olde Base Line. These auxiliary lanes would allow for the flow of traffic on this important arterial road. Olde Base Line is a dangerous two lane road that provides access to Highway 10 – and the only road that FIRE TRUCKS and First Responders must use to provide emergency response to residents living above the Escarpment and north of Olde Base Line all the way to Charleston Sideroad, including the Hamlet of Belfountain. This small Village is fighting the development of 174 new homes – all of which will rely on the same Fire Station located in Inglewood!! Civil Servants in Peel should not control policy,
Please give my appeal some thought – this is so much easier than organizing a dinner/golf tournament/garage sale.
Thank you most sincerely,
Irene the Peach