Our take: Avoid the angst let the gravel processing proposal die while extraction continues
This week’s back-and-forth debate on the Balme Ayr gravel proposal is a perfect illustration of why nothing in politics is ever easy.
Right up front it must be said that, in and of itself, the Balme’s proposal is built on a lot of common sense and probably wouldn’t be nearly the nuisance many fear. Any proposal that will ultimately reclaim unfarmable land for farming has merit. We aren’t surprised the Agricultural Land Commission gave the proposal its blessing.
But its gravel processing plan is not about farming. It’s about land use, plain and simple.
And by the standards governing land use — bylaws, official community plans, and public feedback — gravel processing in that particular neighbourhood is not welcome.
Gerry Giles isn’t wrong when she says the Balmes deserve a chance to present their proposal. Everyone deserves a fair hearing.
The thing is, many in the community have already heard all they need to hear: “gravel pit.” And with that, people have made up their minds. We’d bet good money no amount of talking is going to change this reality even one iota.
Remember the ECO Depot? Common sense would dictate everyone involved could save themselves a lot of time, money and ill-feeling if the decision-makers said “thanks, but no thanks” right up front.
But no. The legal card has been played and the risk managers are scurrying to find cover.
We thought the CVRD ultimately had the say on questions of this nature. Surely, that can stand up in court?
Even if doesn’t, the CVRD has decided.
Pushing ahead now would be a disservice to everyone involved. Worse, it would be a farce.