The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests (MNRF) has given the Canadian aggregates industry a heads up about some information that has come up recently related to aggregate permit applications on Crown land and municipal zoning, according to the Ontario Stone, Sand& Gravel Association (OSSGA).
While the Aggregate Resources Act requires that proof of applicable municipal zoning by-laws be provided before a license can be issued on private land, there is no such requirement in legislation for issuing an aggregate permit on Crown land.
A few recent aggregate permit applications on Crown land located within municipally organized jurisdictions have raised some questions as to whether or not municipal zoning applies to Crown land with respect to the issuance of aggregate permits.
Some of MNRF’s ARA policies refer to municipal zoning on Crown land, and in some of those policies there is a statement indicating/implying that municipal zoning does not apply to Crown land.
In consideration of recent case law, an updated interpretation on this topic has come to light. MNRF thought that OSSGA should be made aware in case this comes up in discussions. Specifically,
- Municipal zoning does not bind the Crown itself (consistent with current policy).
- MNRF does not require proof of appropriate municipal zoning in order to issue an aggregate permit (consistent with current policy).
- MNRF considers municipal comments on aggregate applications when making decisions on whether or not to issue an aggregate permit (consistent with current policy).
- Municipal zoning does apply to non-Crown parties operating on Crown land (this is not consistent with some statements currently made in policy).
- Therefore, the proponent may need to work with the municipality to address any zoning requirements, separate from the ARA approval process.
MNRF is conducting a review of their ARA policies to identify any that may provide inconsistent direction related to the above.