Prince Rupert city council gave the go-ahead to rezone the former Canadian Freightways yard so Quickload Logistics can relocate to the site.
Quickload currently operates on Watson Island, but was given notice to vacate the premise as the city prepares for the decommissioning of the former pulp mill. Quickload set its sights on the former Canadian Freightways yard, but came across a stumbling block as the company’s operations don’t fit under the site’s “M1” designation. In order to allow the property be used for wrapped lumber lifts into shipping containers, Quickload submitted a rezoning request to change its designation to general industrial use, or “M2”.
“Relocating to this property is the result of a fairly exhaustive and extensive search. There is not much industrial land that’s available for this kind of use in Prince Rupert,” Wayne Carson, CEO of Quickload CEF Inc., told council last Monday.
David McWalter, who also represented Quickload at the meeting, noted that relocating to another site in Prince Rupert would keep the company on the city’s tax roll.
The City of Prince Rupert held a public hearing on April 13 in regards to Quickload’s application, with representatives from the Prince Rupert School District (SD52) speaking against it.
“On behalf of the school district, we are opposed to the amendment because … it will affect the Kanata School property which is immediately adjacent to the property,” said Cam McIntyre, secretary-treasurer of SD52.
McIntyre told council of the three closed schools in the community, Kanata is the lone property SD52 is able to sell.
“There’s a desire to have that property sold and developed as a residential property. Those residents would then be immediately beside this property you’re considering to rezone,” he said, noting this would make the site less appealing.
“We understand the proponents are very involved with the container business and that container business has announced an expansion and is likely to grow. It may grow to the point where this company needs more space … with a M2 classification it could be sold for a wide variety of other things,” McIntyre said.
In its application, Quickload states “both the yard work and container loading processes are relatively quiet activities, consistent with the sound associated with operation of a truck yard”.
“In the context of the M2 zoning, we view it as very much consistent with the overall area … the types of uses we would foresee undertaking in our business are not much different and are quite compatible with exactly what’s happening there at present,” said Carson, adding the company prides itself on being a good corporate citizen and would adhere to city bylaws regarding noise.
“I think the noise bylaw and other bylaws we have in place will handle any problems. I would like to think the people involved with this are going to work with the city,” said Coun. Barry Cunningham.
Coun. Joy Thorkelson said there isn’t a lot of industrial property within city limits it can generate revenue from and should be careful not to chase industry away.
“We would like to see stuffing of containers done in Prince Rupert, not see them move out of town either to Port Ed or Terrace,” she said.
Quickload has volunteered to put three covenants on the property, eliminating the permitted use of log booming and sorting, fish processing and key and card lock installation on the site.