A controversial gravel pit plan is moving to the next step in the approval process.
The Electoral Area Advisory Committee is recommending to the Regional District of North Okanagan board that an Agricultural Land Commission application for gravel extraction on Brentwood Road in the BX be sent to the ALC for review.
“What an agrologist pointed out is the gravel pit will improve the net affect of agriculture on the site,” said Rick Fairbairn, rural Lumby director,
“Based on that, how could you not send it to the ALC for consideration? Yes there are residents opposed to it but the fact is, the Ministry of Mines has the final say. Our staff were unable to come up with objections to the application.”
The applicant, Klayton Mertion, is proposing to extract about 52,800 cubic metres of gravel from a two hectare area over five years.
“The agrologist explains that through the process of gravel extraction, soil replacement, and grading, the total amount of arable land would be increased from 0.8 to 3.3 hectares,” said Greg Routley, RDNO deputy planning manager, in a report.
“Topsoil reclamation would be augmented by soil salvaged from construction within road right-of-way adjacent to the south side of the property thus increasing soil fertility and enhancing the site.”
Mike Macnabb, the BX-Silver Star director who represents Brentwood Road, voted against forwarding Mertion’s non-farm use application to the land commission.
“The agrologist did not convince me that it would be an improvement to agriculture and gravel extraction could be a detriment to anyone nearby involved in agriculture,” he said, adding that neighbours are concerned about dust and noise.
“There’s the hours of operation and truck traffic. Their concerns are quite legitimate. As elected representatives, we need to bring their concerns forward.”