York1 says Dresden dump doesn’t need rezoning in a legal opinion sent to CK

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York1 Environmental Waste Solution's map of the company's proposed expansion.

Heather Wright/The Independent

There may be a legal battle looming over the zoning of the former Dresden dump.

York1 Environmental Waste Solution, which now owns the property, has already sought out a legal opinion on the zoning of the property according to documents contained in the company’s proposal to expand the capacity of the dormant site.

Chatham-Kent’s official plan says the land which York1 plans to turn into a recycling centre with an expanded landfill is zoned Extractive Industrial, which is used for gravel pits and concrete crushing.

But York1 officials say the land was zoned for a landfill in the past and that cannot change.

The property was owned by Dresden Tile Yard Ltd until it was sold sold to the Town of Dresden. The town obtained a landfill certificate in 1980 to bury the fly ash from Dresden’s garbage incinerator.

Just a few days before Dresden became part of an amalgamated Chatham-Kent, the land was sold to Mark Smith, who ran Waste Wood Recycling from the property.

When news of York1’s plan came to light, Chatham-Kent officials said the land would have to be rezoned if the company planned to use it as a landfill. But York1 Vice President, George Kirchmair, in an interview with The Independent, said it appears Chatham-Kent changed the landfill zoning during amalgamation. The company’s lawyers believe the 1980’s landfill zoning is still valid as a “legal non-conforming use.

“Once you have a waste disposal site, you can’t un-zone it for that; the landfill is there. It’s existing…The zoning from the very beginning was definitely as a waste disposal site.

“Then there’s an amalgamation and someone updated the Zoning Bylaw, I think they forgot about the specific (landfill) site.”

Documents obtained from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks say York1 has already sent Chatham-Kent officials the legal opinion saying the site does not be rezoned for the company to move forward on its expanded landfill site.