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October 27, 2017 11:29 pm

Area Residents Up for Another Round in 40 Year Battle

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 @ 6:00 AM

Prince George, B.C.-  Once again,  residents on the north  side of the Nechako River are  rallying to prevent industrial development on Otway Road on the south  side of the  river.

Prince George City Council will be  holding a public hearing  on  a proposal that would call for  the Official Community Plan to be amended and the property rezoned.

The changes  call for the  property on  Otway Road to be designated “Business District, Light Industry” on the OCP and to rezone a portion (12.2 hectares) otwayproposalof the 27.7 hectare property  from  its current Agriculture/Forestry   zoning to M1 -Light Industrial.

(map at right shows  entire subject property outlined in black,  while  area subject to  rezoning is  lined area  within the  boundary-image courtesy City of P.G.)

While the proponent  is looking  to develop the site  for the indoor fabrication of custom metal products for  mining and forestry, an office,  and  storage of  trailers and equipment, residents across the river  are concerned this could be  the start of a slide on a very slippery slope.

Kathleen Haines is one of the residents on the north side of the Nechako.  She says  residents have serious concerns “It’s a very large  area that’s being designated Light Industrial and we are  concerned about what can happen in the future.  Once it’s designated  Light Industrial,  it could  be more than these two industries,  we don’t know,  there are so many questions around it, we  think it should be postponed until there is a real solid plan in place for that area.”

Proposed development  of   properties on Otway have  been  the focus of a battle between the North Nechako residents and City Hall for  40 years.   It started in the mid ’70s  when  the asphalt  company Columbia Bitulithic  was given a “temporary” permit.  There was another round in the early 90’s  when  a soil removal bylaw  cleared the way for  gravel extraction at the end of Sandberg Road.   It didn’t end there,  as residents were back before Council in ’93  over the  proposed changes to the OCP.  Residents were successful in having the Light Industrial designation  for the  area removed,  and  another bout  took place in ’97 when, once again,  a soil extraction  permit was up  for approval.  That  permit was denied.

It’s not just the people on North Nechako” says Haines “It’s the people on Cranbrook Hill  who  have residences and farms over there,  they look down on it ( subject property) the viewscaping is terrible over there  and there have been so many incidents  of things not happening the way they were supposed to  in that area.”

There are a couple of issues for the residents.  One is the noise factor as  sound  travels  along the river valley and  residents have been  subject to the noise from  gravel crushing and back up beepers on  industrial equipment  Then there is the  air quality issue as  residents on the north side have been subjected to  fumes from  asphalt  production to dust   from  gravel  crushing .

There have been improvements  to reduce the impact of  those negative factors,  but after 40 years of  Haines says there needs to be a final solution  “It’s time to stop it and have a good look at the area.”


I am one of the people on that side of the river who received a letter. I am not “rallying” to prevent this. I looked into it when I received notice. It turns out I know the people and I also know exactly what they are planning. This will not be very noisy at all, and certainly not dusty. It will be a lot quieter than the helicopters that were there before. I think I understand the larger part of the property won’t even be developed. The tenant that used to be across the road from this had a wood planer screaming all hours, and maybe people are imagining that kind of crap happening again. The people that are developing part of this property have been operating right beside this new site for decades, and nobody has noticed any problems. I support first class business people that respect neighbours wishes such as in this case.

    I live across from it as well, and I fully support it! It’s great to have more types of industry in PG fabrication is quite and most of the “Action” happens inside. It’s another place that will hire more people to put more money in our local economy. Currently lots of companies are getting equipment made elsewhere and shipping it in to PG.

      The business will be a whole lot quieter than the trains that go by any time of the day, that I can currently hear inside my house. I’ve gotten used to the trains they don’t bother me one bit!

Can we stop giving all of our waterfront to industry?
PG is one of the only cities I’ve seen have most of the waterfront designated to industry or private development.

I don’t live in N. Nechako, but I’m against giving this away to more industry.
Is this company not able to build elsewhere? PG has plenty of industrial lands.

What about the industrial area being developed up on boundary road? Was not the idea of the Boundary road development to keep industry out of the bowl? Building more industry in the bowl is just plain nuts considering the pollution, dust levels.

To access Ottway and this proposed industrial area the related industrial traffic will pass through residential areas.

Council give your collective heads a freaking shake.

I live up hwy 16 west.

    Shouldn’t you be accusing the opposition of being natives or NPD anti industry or both ?

We already have vast amounts of industrial property developed with roads and services that are sitting vacant. Why not put this development there instead of more spread all over the place ?

    That area is mainly industrial and vacant. It has been vacant for several years. It is surrounded by industry. What are you talking about?

I suppose it makes a difference if you own the land on Otway Road. Why would you build somewhere else and pay for more property???

We do have Boundary Road, BC Rail Industrial Park, plus some new developments on the Hart Highway. Seems when it comes to industrial land it is all over the map.

    why would you buy land and then expect it to be a slam dunk when you go to rezone it and change the OCP?

      Property bought with a wink and nod from someone maybe?

pg john,

This property is a hell of a distance from the river. Pretty close to Rolling Mix actually, which was built waaay before any residential.

    And there used to be a garbage dump in Moore’s meadow.
    Things change, and this location isn’t appropriate any longer. We have plenty of vacant industry lands.

Just up the road from there they developed 2 gravel pits.Noisy, dusty and dirty. Not to mention the trucks wheelin in and out from the pits. Are they going to stop? Probably not, so be prepared to brake as they blatantly pull out in front of you and cut you off.

These neighbors of mine are out to lunch.
1) The fabricators are moving from an outdoor facility to an indoor… noise factor – MINIMIZED
2) These businesses are taking over an area previously occupied by a HELECOPTER company – last time I checked, these neighbors didn’t start any petitions against them…and trust me, the helicopter’s were not silent!
3) These businesses on Otway have been established for over 20 years – many long before my neighbors and I bought our homes here. We knew exactly where we were buying and what was surrounding the area.
4) Why haven’t these residents mentioned THE TRAIN that passes a few times a day??

Open your eyes Nechako residents, and try telling the whole story next time …

There are plenty of other locations for this industry to locate to. Do we have to have a blight on the landscape in every corner of the city? I hope the city shows some forward thinking of what this property could be and should be used for. This industrial creeping into pristine and scenic areas has got to stop. Fill up the properties on Boundary Road and other designated areas for industry. I think the problem with Boundary Road is that no one wants to pay extra for amenities such as curbing, street lights, new pavement and the responsibility to maintain their properties to the standard of their neighbours. Instead they want to squat outside the city in order to avoid a higher tax bill. Residents of the area have valid concerns and I hope they are properly addressed.

    This area has had industry in it for many, many years. I don’t know what area you are thinking of. It is not pristine, nor is it scenic. It is cleared bare land that used to have industry on it.
    If we want Prince George to grow and employ more people, we can’t oppose every industry that wants to set up business here.
    There is bush between this area and the river. People on the other side of the river won’t even see this!

Hey Junco, This is well inside City limits. But hey, what about the Boundary area? That is where the city should be ‘directing traffic’.

Yes, you’re right, it is well within city limits. Seems like country though as it is fairly unspoiled. I think the area is another of Prince George’s so called ‘gems’ and should be preserved for something more estetically pleasing and suitable for the area. Even a subdivision would be a qualifier. I’m not against industry but yes, I think the City should definitely be ‘directing traffic’ to the Boundary road area and other areas already zoned for industry.

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