Peter Orphanos has battled for years against the intrusion of a major milling operation into the environmentally-sensitive Credit River Valley of Mississauga.

The efforts of Orphanos and other citizens who live above the valley in the Streetsville area seemed to be making progress in June 2007 when Mississauga council unanimously approved a change in the official plan for the Kraft Canada Inc., flour mill site from industrial to residential/greenbelt.

That decision, while not forcing Kraft to move, prevents further industrial development there if the company decides to leave. It ensures preservation of valley land while allowing high density housing on top of the riverbank.

However, Kraft is appealing the council decision to the Ontario Municipal Board, which met on Jan. 12 and abruptly adjourned for two weeks while lawyers for the company and the city try to negotiate a compromise.

That has Orphanos, a retired elementary school vice-principal who serves on the city’s environmental advisory committee and as chairman of the Sierra Club in Peel, extremely worried.

The 2007 decision was made after more than two years of consultation with the community, which solidly backed it, Orphanos said.

“The planning argument for the policy is strong. The impacts we have suffered here for 30 years are real,” he said, referring to noise, dust and truck traffic neighbours have experienced.

The mill predates the homes, provides about 45 jobs and pumps millions of dollars into the economy, according to the company.

While a mill has been on the site since the 1830s, large-scale operations didn’t begin until the late 1960s.

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