A proposed gravel pit in Silver Creek dominated an Aug. 24 council meeting, where councillors also approved needed permits for several other Hope area development as well as passing a whistleblower policy.
A proposed gravel pit was the main topic of discussion, with 28 submissions in opposition to Emil Anderson Construction’s plans to extract gravel on a temporary basis from their 20060 Hockin Rd. property in advance of their long-term plans to build a subdivision on the property. Council decided to reserve their decision on the temporary use permit requested by the company to a future council meeting, with Emil Anderson set to work with the district to hold public meetings in the meantime.
The letter writers expressed concerns including the effect on the health and comfort of neighbours and the potential risks to migratory birds and wildlife in the area. The opposition letters were received from neighbours in the Beacon Road area including residents in the newly constructed Silver Valley Estates subdivision.
Mark Cugnet noted his opposition due to the “dust and noise generated by the rock crusher and the running of equipment.” Iouri Gobounov and Tatiana Shklovets stated their opposition to the “excessive noise and extreme amounts of dust” they expect will be associated with the proposed use.
“The noise pollution and the air quality as well as the comings and goings of heavy equipment, most likely diesel-fuelled, will be detrimental to the residents,” wrote Sandra and Gord Smith.
Michael Jacobs, chairman of the board of Emil Anderson Construction, laid out plans for where and how approximately 300,000 cubic metres of gravel would be extracted from the site. Extraction will happen on the east side of the property, with a hill separating the mining area from the subdivisions to the west.
“We will be good neighbours,” he said, adding the company would work regular hours and not start before 7 a.m. or 8 a.m. if it were an issue with the neighbours. The dust will be controlled, Jacobs said, mainly using water or other methods at the company’s disposal.
The company is also not opposed to adding a noise berm, Jacobs added, along the haul road’s boundary with the neighbouring subdivision.
The population in the subdivision is majority seniors, according to letter writers, some of whom are experiencing pre-existing health issues such as cancer and asthma.
“We all moved here for the beauty, fresh air and peacefulness of Hope, not to encounter this in our retirement years,” wrote Denise Brown.
Several letters drew attention to the district’s land use goal 4, in its official community plan, of having industrial areas “effectively separared or buffered from adjacent land uses.”
Some letters noted the potential impact of the gravel pit on Silver Creek Elementary School students. Several expressed fear about the impact the extraction would have on their property values.
Some feared the mountain behind Flood Hope Road would be impacted by gravel extraction. Jacobs said the crusher would be 1,000 metres or more from this area and vibrations would not travel that far.
Emil Anderson would like to go ahead with the gravel extraction sooner rather than later, Jacobs told council, and has put in a proposal to supply grave to the Trans Mountain Expansion Project that is slated to begin construction later this year.
The permit, if granted, would be for up to three years with a possibility of extension Jas Gill, director of community development, said. The term period is set out in legislation, he added. Emil Anderson are also in the process of renewing their existing mining permit for the property with the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Jacobs said.
The future subdivision plans include 84 lots and a slope that will be re-vegetated as the gravel is removed Jacobs said.
Anhart apartment, four-plex development a go
Council unanimously approved a development permit for Anhart Community Housing’s plans to build apartments and fourplexes at 1276 Scott Drive. The property is zoned as multi-family residential, so no rezoning process is needed for the proposed 33-unit apartment building and five fourplexes. “The project is intended to be a strata development marketed towards first time ownership,” council documents stated.
The site development will require 91 parking stalls – if some of these stalls will be directly off of Scott Drive, Anhart will be required to take responsibility of snow removal and maintenance of those stalls.
Monday night council also approved a geotechnical hazard development permit for 64071 Flood Hope Road, where the owner wants to construct an addition to a shop, as well as a flood and erosion hazard development permit for 62665 Airport Road where there are plans to build a single-family home and a garage.
Whistleblower protection through amended bylaw
An amendment to the district’s whistleblower policy was passed unanimously Monday, a policy that is meant to both protect potential whistleblowers within the district as well as set up a system where wrongdoings and retaliatory actions can be reported, investigated and disciplined.
The Whistleblower Policy (number HR.01.02) lays out responsibilites of council, the district’s chief administrative officer and other staff to deal with information reported by a whistleblower. The process of reporting, investigating and potential discipline is also laid out in the new policy, as is how appeals are to be handled.
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