Westway, working under the new name, Beaver Valley Development Group (BVDG) presented to Grey Highlands Council on August 3 – watch from the 1:08 mark. While short on substance the presentation was long on buzzwords such as sustainable, wellness, collaboration, listening and ecotourism. While nothing specific was shared it is very clear that they are intent on moving forward with significant development on farmland and Beaver River watershed lands at the Talisman site.
While BVDG continues to perpetuate the myth, started by Grey Highlands staff and Council, that they will “revitalize” the old Talisman resort, this is puzzling as they do not own that property, but bought the pristine farmland and watershed/floodplain properties that sandwich the Talisman resort and old ski hill. In response to a question, BVDG indicated they were attempting to reach an agreement with the owners of the resort property. We don’t know the nature of this agreement.
The presenters were very careful to say that they have “no vision and no plan” but yet have been meeting with the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority, the Niagara Escarpment Commission, and the Bruce Trail Conservancy. The developers also thanked Grey Highlands staff for their guidance and support. If there is “no vision and no plan”, which they say is to be developed in consultation with the community, what have they have been discussing with our representatives and officials tasked with protecting the Escarpment?
Apparently, community consultation to inform the vision and plan is tentatively scheduled to begin in September. It is important that the community continues to be deeply and actively engaged to promote a green Beaver Valley and Escarpment, and to protect our environment, farmlands, rivers and watersheds.
Many questions remain:
- What will be developed and where will it be built?
- How will this development affect the existing redevelopment plans for the original Talisman resort?
- How will development affect local neighbours in Amik, Kimberley and at the top of the hill?
- What will be the costs to taxpayers to develop the access roads and bridges along 7A so they can handle years of construction equipment and hundreds of more cars?
- How will sewage and water capacity be expanded to handle the development and at what cost?
- How will development on farmland at the top of hill, which is on Karst, affect the municipal water treatment plant which draws from this area to supply Amik?
- Will the developer be required to fund a substantive new flood plain study as the 1995 study for the site is outdated, and does not incorporate climate change or Eugenia Dam releases? See Kate Lazier’s excellent presentation on this subject to GSCA here.
–This is the second blog in our update on the sale of the Talisman Public Lands. Once again, we were fortunate to receive this update from our friends at the Protect Talisman Lands Association. The PTLA and ECA are aligned in our fight to keep the Escarpment green by stopping inappropriate developments, such as the one proposed on the Talisman Public Lands.
The PTLA thanks you all for your continued engagement and donations. All help of time and money is extremely appreciated and is tax deductible through our Small Change Fund project. Donate here to support the PTLA’s fight to protect the Talisman Public Lands.