Gravel Extraction Plan Approved
Prince George, B.C.- The operators of the gravel pit on Foothills Boulevard want to change their plan for gravel extraction and have operations move closer to the western edge and area residents are in favour of the change.
Following meetings with area residents, the applicant increased the natural vegetation buffer zone from 50 to 60 meters and will not disturb the natural greenbelt along the north edge of the Nechako River.
( at right, plan calls for piece running west from Foothills to be removed from extraction bylaw, and section closest to residential area be added)
The applicant (Pittman Asphalt) will construct temporary berms, and reduce hours of operation, eliminating as much as possible noise created by the pit operations. The applicant will also reduce Sunday operations whenever possible..
While residents have called for an end to the “back up beepers” the equipment is a requirement by the Ministry of Mines.
To sweeten the pot, the applicant is prepared to dedicate 16.2 hectare site along the river as a park. The City wants to have more river access parks, and the property ( shown in image at left) would satisfy that desire. But the piece of property in question is already on the City’s radar, as General Manager of Planning and Development Ian Wells says the City would be looking to acquire that piece of property regardless of the outcome of the rezoning application.
Kathleen Haines, who has been a spokesperson for the residential neighbourhood west of the site, has appeared before Council 6 different times opposing a number of proposed applications, and this is the first application that she supports. She told Council this application ensures a buffer and a park. She says the proponents have gone about this process in “an honourable respectful and consultative manner” she says the proposal is “a product of compromise.”
She was not alone, as two other neighbours stepped forward to express their support as well, noting the consultation and efforts by Pittman to address their concerns.
There are only a few years left in the lifespan of this particular gravel pit and the proponent is already starting reclamation work.
Council has approved the application noting the positive reaction from the neighbours. Mayor Hall says he will support the project because of the continuing the dialogue with neighbours about the plans for the pit and the consultation that took place to reach the compromises made “We have not seen this level of cooperation with parties involved in a public hearing.”