Quarry gets rocky reception
A number of Spallumcheen residents hope council can blast away a proposed rock quarry application in the township.
More than 30 people opposed to an application by Enderby resident Bruce Schartner to create a rock quarry on property he owns in the 5100 block of Back Enderby Road in the township crammed into Spallumcheen council chambers Monday.
“We feel the development of this commercial enterprise will have a definite negative impact on the township and the residents near the proposed development,” said Ed Marriott, who lives beside the property and who presented to council on behalf of the residents.
Marriott, who said he had more than 30 years working in the same industry, said the negative effect on the residents will consist of both noise and air pollution as a result of blasting, crushing and increased trucking traffic.
He also said real estate values of the nearby residences will “drop considerably.”
“The proposed development of a quarry on the subject property will result in a scar on the hillside of this beautiful Spallumcheen valley,” said Marriott.
“The hillside around the quarry site has been selectively logged several times and provides absolutely no cover or noise buffer for the proposed quarry.”
The township never received a referral on the application from the ministry of energy and mines (though they have now and have received an extension to add comments), and residents were upset that they found out about the application through an advertisement in a local newspaper.
A 40-plus named petition was handed to council from those opposed to the application, and council received at least six letters vehemently against it.
Schartner’s property is zoned large holding and under the township’s zoning bylaw, a permitted use in large holding is for resource use. And that includes resource extraction and crushing for shipment.
Schartner said his business is family-run and his crew of four includes himself, his two young sons and his brother, who drives the truck which he said is “not a mining truck you see in Sparwood.”
“It’s a rock quarry,” said Schartner of his plan for his property. “We’re not gold mining, we’re not blowing the mountain apart. We blast moderately one or two times a year and then we crush that gravel five days a month. We have one gravel truck that goes down the road.”
Schartner also told council he and his family are considering building a home on the property.
He said his family has produced rock in the past for the ministry of environment for hundreds of loads that were put into the Shuswap River, after the rock had undergone extensive lab tests.
Schartner said that rock came from a quarry located “one mile to the north” of his property.
The province manages mining resources so would be the ones to issue a quarry licence to Schartner.
Spallumcheen council unanimously passed a staff recommendation to provide referral comments to the ministry of energy and mines, requesting the applicant be required to hold a public information prior to the issue of the licence to provide feedback in regards to the residents’ and council’s concerns.
The township also asked for clarification on which specific days Schartner plans on operating, how many times blasting is to take place, how noise from crushing will be abated and any other concerns that could be addressed.
Council will discuss the matter again at its committee of the whole meeting Monday at 7 p.m. Schartner is expected to be in attendance and a representative from the ministry of energy and mines has also been invited.