Revelstoke council asked for restricted hours and staged operations should the province approve an application for a gravel pit off Westside Road.
Council was presented with two decisions on the application made by Revelstoke Sand & Gravel at its meeting last Tuesday, Sept. 8.
The first was for a city development permit. Council voted to issue the permit, with the condition that a registered biologist conduct a site survey to check for any streams or watercourses before development.
Council was limited in its ability to reject the application.
“As I understand, the ability for city and council to say yay or nay to this application is rather limited?” asked coun. Connie Brothers. “We’re in the hands of the province, as I understand it?”
Dean Strachan, the manager of development services, said the Official Community Plan contained policies regarding landscaping and tree buffers. “We have responsibility to ensure their’s no riparian features on site, which is why we’ll have a biologist walk through the site,” he said. “Outside of that, it’s in the jurisdiction of the province to regulate mining and extraction.”
The second council vote was to ask the province to place five conditions on the gravel pit, should it decide to offer the proponents tenure over Crown land. The first condition is for a dust management plan to be put in place. The second is for a study to be conducted that identifies the amount of crystalline silica in the pit, as well as mitigation measures to address publich health concerns.
The third condition is for a noise control plan. The fourth condition, which was amended at the request of councillor Gary Sulz, was to restrict operating hours from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, with no operations on weekends.
“That would keep their evenings quiet, and I’m not sure they need Saturday or Sunday to crush gravel,” he said.
The initial staff recommendation included longer hours on weekdays, and weekend operations.
Finally, Mayor Mark McKee put forward a fifth condition asking that the gravel pit be developed in two hectare stages, and that a second stage could only be opened when the first was cleaned up.
The North Columbia Environmental Society formally opposed the gravel pit. In a letter to FrontCounter BC, they wrote the pit would cause public health and dust concerns, that it would disturb wildlife values, that it would lead to the presence of noxious and invasive weeds, and that the pit was not needed.
“In summary, the NCES feels that granting a License of Occupation to Revelstoke Sand & Gravel Ltd. in the subject location for the purposed of a sand and gravel quarry will lead to irreparable health and environmental damages,” wrote NCES president Jody Lownds.
Carl Rankin, the designate agent for Revelstoke Sand & Gravel, wrote in a letter to council that the pit would not cause any dust or health concerns.