One year ago a public meeting was held on proposed Jordan River gravel pits.
Almost universal opposition was expressed, so most Revelstoke residents thought it would never happen.
However, not necessarily so.
Jake-Jay Construction, the proponent, was given a two year temporary license for exploration ending Dec. 6, 2021.
Two of the requirements to receive a full license were to hold a public meeting, and to acquire development permits(s) from the City of Revelstoke.
The Westside Road/Jordan River proposed pit lies on an area designated “environmentally sensitive” in Revelstoke’s Official Community Plan (OCP). However, zoning here has not been updated to match the OCP, and remains “industrial.”
Although within the city, this area is Crown land. Therefore the province has the last word on approving an aggregate license.
Still, if zoned “environmentally sensitive,” it would be very helpful in preventing approval.
The city is updating the zoning in the OCP in a strict order: Johnson Heights, Arrow Heights and last Columbia Park, including Westside Road.
The city has refused to pull out the “environmentally sensitive area” to update zoning although it is still working on Johnson Heights OCP update.
The proponent could apply for development permit(s) any day and council would have difficulty turning it down if still zoned industrial.
While the city had no problem expediting rezoning for Revelstoke Mountain Resort staff housing in Johnson Heights, or for development around Hay Road in Arrow Heights, there is no appetite for expediting the rezoning of the Westside Road as an “environmentally sensitive area” to avoid a gravel pit, which most people of Revelstoke have made clear they don’t want through a petition, letters, the public meeting and council itself, which has not supported it.
Besides its environmental values, it has a beloved hiking trail used by all ages. Council must insist staff update the zoning of this area immediately. It would be a travesty if this area is lost because the city didn’t get around to it in time.
-Virginia Thompson, Revelstoke