Gravel pit digs up issues

Coldstream Ranch is growing its gravel operations with a proposed third pit near Howe Drive

Coldstream Ranch is growing its gravel operations.

The ranch is applying for a non-farm use permit on 8.4 hectares of ranchland near Howe Drive in order for gravel extraction. The land is currently used for limited cattle grazing, but once the project is completed (in approximately five years) the agricultural capability of the land will be improved.

The nearest homes are about two kilometres away along Howe Drive.

Coldstream has referred the application to the Agricultural Planning Commission before it forwards it to the Agricultural Land Commission for approval.

But there are some concerns about digging up more land before other areas are reclaimed.

“One concern that I’ve had is the old pit that we’ve quietly been looking to be reclaimed for a number of years,” said Coun. Peter McClean.

Ted Osborn, project manager, says completion depends on the rate which clean fill is received, and the Rosebush gravel pit won’t be finished before this new project is started.

“We are over halfway through filling that,” said Osborn, adding that probably this winter or next year it will be complete.

The latest proposal includes transporting gravel and fill through ranch land onto Kalamalka Road and then Highway 6.

“There will be somewhere between 50 and 100 truckloads a day,” said Osborn, noting that the winter could see significantly fewer.

Concerns over area creeks were also raised.

“There’s quite a number of  gravel operations that have been near or adjacent to creeks and creating a lot of problems,” said Coun. Richard Enns.

But Osborn says they have a plan in place, know the area and are aware of the regulations, such as staying back 30 metres.

“We don’t have a lot of runoff in that area because it is so coarse. So I don’t see that as going to be a problem.”