North Dumfries landowners fined for building laneway in wetland
Cambridge - The owners of a Roseville Road property in North Dumfries Township have been assessed penalties totalling $15,625 for building a laneway through a wetland in August 2009.
Jason John Geil was fined $10,000, his company Geil Style Enterprises Inc. was fined $1,000 and Janet Ann Bratton was fined $1,500. In addition, they must each pay an additional 25 per cent victim fine surcharge. The surcharges total $3,125.
They were also ordered to remove the fill and rehabilitate an area estimated to be about 300 metres long and about 12 metres wide That work must be completed by Nov. 25.
The fines and removal order were issued Sept. 16. The three were convicted by Justice of the Peace Zeljana Radulovic on Jan. 26 following a trial in Provincial Offences Court in Kitchener. They had pled not guilty to the charges laid under the Conservation Authorities Act. The Act prohibits placement of fill in a wetland.
A $10,000 fine plus a surcharge of 25 per cent is the maximum allowed by the Act.
In August 2009 the GRCA received information from people who had seen a steady stream of trucks entering the property at 1943 Roseville Rd. GRCA staff visited the scene and also saw earth-moving equipment in the area of the wetland, which is adjacent to a stream that runs through the property. The stream is a tributary of Cedar Creek.
The GRCA and other conservation authorities in Ontario administer regulations that control development near wetlands, along watercourses and their flood plains, steep slopes and the Lake Erie shoreline. Regulated areas make up about one-third of the Grand River watershed.
In recent years, the GRCA has hired two enforcement officers to investigate complaints. Most cases are resolved through negotiation between the GRCA and landowners without court action.
Landowners planning to undertake a project near a wetland, stream, river or other regulated area should contact a resource planner at the GRCA. E-mail addresses and phone numbers are available in the Planning and Regulations section of the GRCA website at www.grandriver.ca
They can also use “Map My Property” an interactive mapping tool on the GRCA wesbsite to see if any parts of their property are regulated.