Proposed Spallumcheen quarry gets rocky reception

One Spallumcheen councillor wants to crush a proposed rock quarry application in the township

One Spallumcheen councillor wants to crush a proposed rock quarry application in the township.

Todd York presented a motion to council Monday that calls for the ministry of mines – which has the power of approval – to deny Enderby resident Bruce Schartner’s application to operate a quarry at Schartner’s Back Enderby Road property in the township.

Schartner’s property is zoned large holdings which, in the township, permits resource use such as rock quarries.

“It may be appropriately zoned, but it is not appropriately situated,” said York.

Considerable opposition to the application has been shown by neighbouring residents in the form of letters, e-mails and in-person appearances at three meetings with the application being discussed.

“It’s too close to other people’s homes and enough valid points have been made to not recommend approval on this thing,” said York, adding he has never voted against somebody with an application for a business of any kind in his years on council.

“The noise, the dust and proximity to homes is enough to let the ministry know we don’t approve this.”

Said Coun. Christine Fraser: “I’ve never seen so many people come out on a single issue in my years on council. If nothing happens now, it’s safe to say we have no say.”

York’s motion contains an eight-point caveat should the ministry approve Schartner’s permit.

If the ministry grants Schartner’s application, Spallumcheen council wants him to undertake a hydrological study to confirm there would be no adverse effects on the water sources of nearby properties from blasting and water use for dust suppression.

Blasting is requested to be limited to three times a year, Monday to Friday, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The hours of operation for the quarry would be Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Council requests that Schartner install adequate noise and dust mitigation that is inspected and approved prior to the commencement of blasting and excavation, including measures to ensure there are no health issues caused by silica dust, and provide adequate reclamation security to ensure the site is safe and replanted.

Council also requests a five-year time limit for quarry operation be imposed.

“I have no idea if this will carry any kind of weight with the ministry,” said York. “I hope it does. If it doesn’t, let’s hope our concerns have enough weight to be able to have it run the way your expectations are.”

Council voted 4-1 in favour of York’s motion with Coun. Ed Hanoski absent and Coun. Andrew Casson in opposition.

Casson wants to see the entire process play out. That includes the ministry of mines hosting a community meeting in the township to hear all sides of the proposed application.

“I 100 per cent see the neighbours’ concerns, the community’s concerns and I have concerns as I live across the valley from the site,” said Casson. “But I feel we’re changing boats mid-stream on the applicant. It’s a good motion, I like aspects of it. But for me, it’s a case of we have to let the process go forward.”

The township was not notified of Schartner’s application until Feb. 12 and was given 30 days to offer comments.

Deputy chief administrative officer Corey Paiement said York’s motion and a letter from the township will go out this week to the ministry.

 

No date has been set as of Tuesday for the community meeting.