For long-time Grimsby residents, they know the fight to save the Irish Wood Lot has been fought long and hard. For those who are newer to Grimsby, this has been a long battle to stop a proposed extension of Livingston Road through an environmentally unique and sensitive area.
Not only would the extension cost an estimated $8.5 million of taxpayer dollars, but it would essentially be a 1.6 km “road to nowhere” as the lands that it would go through are designated Greenbelt and could not be developed.
The good folks at “Save The Wood Lot” have worked tirelessly to overcome every political road block that has been thrown against them and residents opposed to seeing this environmentally sensitive area paved over.
In contrast, Mayor Bentley at a recent Council meeting on the issue stated his desire to bring in the asphalt… “We’re going west”.
In May 2014, the Region started an Environmental Assessment (EA) process for the extension of Livingston Ave from Casablanca Blvd to Oakes Rd. After a large number of objections from the public were received, the EA was delayed and finally deferred by the Region in 2015 until the Greenbelt review was completed.
The Greenbelt Review was completed earlier this year and the Greenbelt is remaining as is in Grimsby. It was thought the battle was won and the renewed Greenbelt would really eliminate any possible reason for justifying the road extension.
Earlier this year, the Region held Open Houses for it’s Transportation Master Plan. The maps clearly showed the Livingston Avenue extension through the Irish Wood Lot and regional staff were stating the road was to go ahead. It can be argued that this was a back-door attempt to get the extension approved before any EA took place.
Proposed Livingston Avenue Extension Decision in Grimsby’s Hands
Back in May, Bruce Mackenzie of Save The Wood Lot spoke to the Region’s Transportation Steering Committee and as a result the Committee unanimously voted to remove the Livingston Avenue extension from their Master Plan, details of which can be found in this post. A petition with over 1,100 signatures supporting the preservation of the Wood Lot was also presented.
The motion then went to the Region’s Public Works Committee for confirmation and again Mr. Mackenzie spoke to the importance and significance of preserving the Wood Lot. In opposition, Mayor Bentley spoke strongly in support of the extension of Livingston Ave into the Greenbelt and through the Irish Grove Woodlot.
The Mayor was told by the Committee that they would wait on a decision of Grimsby Town Council on whether it wants the Region to proceed with the road or not.
Now residents must tell the Mayor and the Town Council that they do not want or need the road.
On Wednesday, August 16 at 4:30 pm at the Grimsby Town Hall, Bruce Mackenzie, will be appearing as a delegation at the Town’s Public Works Committee meeting and will be asking the Town to support the motion from the Region’s Transportation Steering Committee to “Remove the Livingston Ave extension from the Region’s Transportation Master Plan.”
Mayor Bentley did not want the Greenbelt to remain in the west end of Grimsby below the Niagara Escarpment but that is not changing and yet he still wants the Livingston Ave extension approved and paid for by you through your regional taxes.
Many of the Aldermen have shown their support for Save the Wood Lot. A copy of the petition will be sent to all members of Council, but residents should remind them of the importance of stopping the Livingston Ave extension once and for all. Please request their support and for them to tell the Region that the residents of Grimsby do not want the road. Their contact information can be found at the end of this post.
The Irish Grove Wood Lot is a living museum and cannot be replaced.
Please come out to the Public Works committee meeting on Wednesday, August 16 at 4:30 pm at Grimsby Town Hall and show your support to save the Irish Grove Woodlot.
For more information, please contact Bruce Mackenzie at Save the Wood Lot via email at Kintail52@gmail.com or via telephone at (905) 973-4869.
Town Council Contact Information:
Alderman Dave Kadwell firstname.lastname@example.org (905) 945-8259
Alderman Steve Berry email@example.com (905) 945-2578
Alderman Carolyn Mullins firstname.lastname@example.org (289) 235-9460
Alderman Joanne Johnston email@example.com (905) 945- 9851
Alderman Michelle Seaborn firstname.lastname@example.org (905) 945-7963
Alderman Dave Wilson email@example.com (905) 309-0905
Alderman John Dunstall firstname.lastname@example.org (905) 309-5187
Alderman Nick DiFlavio email@example.com (905) 309-4133
Mayor Bob Bentley firstname.lastname@example.org (905) 945-2710
Regional Councillor Tony Quirk email@example.com (289) 408-8669