The District of Kitimat has given Kitimat’s Sandhill Materials owners Arthon the go-ahead to construct an RV park in the Service Centre.
Councillors voted unanimously to grant Arthon a temporary use permit (TUP) for a 100-berth RV park situated on vacant land behind the Haisla Taxi depot, between the railway line and Haul Road.
As the land is zoned G5 – Forestry, a TUP is necessary to allow the development to go ahead. TUPs are issued for a short-term period, retaining the property’s zoning while allowing temporary development to proceed.
Arthon’s permit expires in 2022 and the company then has the option to renew the TUP one more time.
However, the TUP was granted on condition that a number of conditions are met, the primary condition being a Traffic Impact Study being completed and approved by the DoK’s municipal engineer. Speaking to the TIA, councillor Mario Feldhoff expressed concern that the traffic emanating from the RV park would impact on existing entry and exit from the Service Centre for other businesses.
The proposed access to the RV park is currently along 3rd Street, over the railway line, making a left onto Haul Road to the park’s entrance.
“Would the opportunity present itself to perhaps enter on the Eurocan side of the highway and double back behind the Kentron facility along the Eurocan logging road and access the site in that fashion? There’s a lot less traffic going down into that area,” said Feldhoff.
“It would take a lot of pressure off 3rd Street. I hope that alternative is considered very seriously as part of the TIA.”
In a letter submitted to council, local businessman Leonard Kaberry expressed concern that the added traffic would impact the businesses along 3rd Street.
City engineer Alex Ramos-Espinoza said the TIA would highlight any problems with regards traffic along 3rd Street.
“If there are any significant impacts we will start looking at other routes,” said Ramos-Espinoza.
Arthon, through engineering firm McElhanney, were requested to look at an alternative access road further along Haisla Blvd. towards the entrance to the sandhill.
As a condition of the granting of the TPU, Arthon is responsible for any costs that stem from road and intersection improvements.
The DoK’s Community Planning and Development department expressed concern around yet another temporary worker facility in addition to Civeo’s Sitka Lodge and Horizon North’s Crossroads Lodge, and LNG Canada’s Cedar Valley Lodge once construction is completed.
“The location is isolated in the Service Centre with limited amenities nearby. There may be issues related to social isolation,” reads comment from the department.
Councillor Lani Gibson requested that another condition be added to the existing list, namely the provision of a gathering area and shared barbeque facilities.
“I feel when I look at the design that it’s like putting a bunch of people in like sardines. I know that the workers will work long hours and probably won’t do much more than work and sleep, but I feel that we’re not really treating them like humans,” said Gibson.
“I think that they could quite easily have a shared barbecue and fire pit, somewhere where the workers can go to.”
The councillors unanimously supported Gibson’s amendment which has been added to the conditions listed on the TUP.
Other conditions for the granting of the TUP include a landscape plan that outlines vegetation retention, with buffers and screens completed to the district’s satisfaction, a drainage plan that mitigates any impact on other properties and on watercourse that runs south of the proposed park and that recreational vehicles be registered and insured for the road.
The district’s engineering department was satisfied that sewage access wouldn’t be a problem.
“The sewer will be a gravity system connecting to DoK infrastructure at sewer access near Haisla Blvd. From a service perspective, no issues have been identified and the required survey has been completed,” reads comment from the department.
A second temporary use permit approved on August 12 allows for the establishment of a laydown area which will also be situated on Arthon’s property.