Plans for a work camp to accommodate up to 400 people advanced April 14 with city council giving third readings for changes to bylaws and to the city’s official community plan for the facility to be located on the city-owned Skeena Industrial Development Park located just south of the Northwest Regional Airport.
Councillors also got a look at maps of where the camp would be located and took comments from adjacent land users and others. The camp is to be run by Falcon Camp Services of Prince George for people working on the Pacific Trails Pipeline and Chevron/Apache Kitimat LNG plant at Kitimat.
It’s to be located on land at the industrial park just purchased by the Kitselas First Nations’ Development Corporation (KDC) and then leased to Falcon Camp Services. Current plans have the camp at between 200 to 400 people, but the company said that number may grow in the future.
At the public hearing, city planner David Block presented questions posed by the Kitselas Development Corporation regarding the city’s $500 fee it would charge for every bed at the facility over a total of 500 to a maximum of 3,000 beds allowed, which was contained in the zoning bylaw amendment for permitted uses on the heavy industrial lands.
This section of the land agreement is designed to build a fund towards affordable housing but the KDC wondered why the city wasn’t going to share some of those profits in the spirit of the airport lands agreement struck between the Kitselas and the city that outlines a profit sharing regime.
It wondered if the city would share the fee with the corporation and if that fee would apply to other work camps on city-owned land. In reply, Block said the fee is meant to finance city-initiated affordable housing efforts and that the city was not entertaining any other work camp proposals within its boundaries.
A permit for the location was granted April 14 but it was not an approval for the camp but instead only for equipment storage, pipeline pipe storage and for offices, he said.
The report to council also contained a statement from KDC general manager Jim Dopson.
It stated his company’s “desire to see the zoning bylaw, permitting the site-specific use of Temporary Work Camp Accommodations on their parcel at 3755 industrial Way, be considered by council and granted adoption.”
During the required public hearing Northwest Regional Airport manager Carman Hendry said the city should tell the camp developers it is located near an airport and that “there may be noise disturbance from time to time due to air traffic” and requested that “the bylaws proceed to adoption on the understanding that possible future noise complaints from persons residing in an industrial work camp located near the airport will not in any way restrict operations of the airport.”
Proper oversight of sewage treatment facilities at the camp was on the list presented by the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine.
“They have an application for sewage disposal with the ministry of the environment, they are proposing an onsite sanitary system for septic disposal, specifically for the PTP Chevron Project,” said Block. “They will bring treated waste or raw sewage to the city’s landfill.”