Lake Country council passed a motion Tuesday that allowed a local business to expand a soil pit on their property to 1.8 hectares and mine 75,000 tonnes of gravel from March 2020 to September 2020 on Oyama Road.
The motion, introduced by Coun. Bill Scarrow, designated responsibility to the applicant, Garth MacDonell, and staff to work out an accompanying contingency plan that would include specific permit stipulations.
Two people raised concerns — one being Anne Stewart, co-owner of Turtle Bay Pub — about the gravel pit, to be situated on land east of Wood Lake, becoming an eyesore for tourists and the community, potentially depreciating real estate and adding to the poor road conditions on nearby area roads.
Couns. Penny Gambell and Scarrow pointed to Hebert Road in particular, raising the possibility that much of the damage done on that road be attributed to MacDonnell Farms Ltd., Country Down Estates Ltd. and Cloverdale Holdings Ltd.
MacDonell said it’s not only his company that has damaged roads or contributed to the current state of Hebert Road, citing the impact of other neighbouring businesses.
To mitigate any further negative impact, the resolution also called for regulations such as reduced hours and days of operation, a plan for MacDonell to help subsidize the costs of road repairs, and for the truck routes to be limited further, beyond the reduced hours of operation.
Coun. Cara Reed said the extension of the gravel pit contradicts the Official Community Plan (OCP) and council should tread lightly when it comes to allowing mining and temporary use permits that will affect green space and the surrounding quality of life for the community.
Reed noted that Map Nine of the OCP outlines land specifically allocated for aggregate extraction pits.
Mayor James Baker said aggregate mapping in the OCP is outdated, completed by the regional district rather than the district, and doesn’t correlate with the applicant at hand.
“It’s not hard for me to part from (the aggregate designation) because in my mind it’s quite simple — it’s wrong,” added Scarrow.
Reed was the lone councillor to oppose the resolution.
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
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