An application for a quarry permit in the northeast part of Coquitlam has some residents living in the area throwing rocks at the idea.
The application is for a quarry situated on provincial Crown land located at the corner of Quarry Road and Calgary Drive.
The application is through the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and was made by John Carley of Langley.
But Quarry Road resident Jim McNeil said he intends to oppose the application and has urged his neighbours to do the same.
He said he was shocked to learn about the application, and presumed when the land was recently staked it was a mistake.
Given the quarry's location between Minnekhada Regional and Pinecone Burke Provincial parks, the longtime resident assumed the land would be left as wild Crown land, not developed for industrial purposes.
McNeil also expressed concern for the watercourses and various trees on the land.
"It seems like there are many better places for a quarry," McNeil told the Tri-Cities NOW.
The land is currently zoned to allow for a gravel quarry, and though another quarry is located further up the road, the product is shipped out by barge.
McNeil also questioned how the gravel would be transported, noting there are only two ways to get the product out by truck, either along Quarry or Cedar Drive.
"Nothing too much has been taken out of here in the 34 years I've been here," he said.
McNeil has contacted the City of Coquitlam and Metro Vancouver to look into the application, while putting flyers up around the neighbourhood alerting other residents.
He suggested the proponent is trying to sneak the application through in the summer, when people aren't paying attention.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart said he was unaware of the application, but noted mining permits are handled by the provincial government.
According to policy details provided to the Tri-Cities NOW by staff at the ministry, the application is for an investigative permit to assess this site's suitability for sand and gravel extraction.
The ministry noted investigative permits are regularly issued to applicants who are interested in determining whether there is a commercial quality of sand/gravel in an area that they may want to make an application for a gravel quarry on.
According to the ministry, investigative permits are issued for a maximum term of two years, and give the applicant no interest in the land. They allow the applicant to drill test holes and do other studies.
The ministry noted such a permit is not an exclusive right and has no impact on any member of the public who wants to access the land for personal recreation purposes.
Nor can a permit be used by the proponent as a precedent for being granted tenure for a gravel quarry operation.
The formal application for tenure for a gravel quarry operation is a separate process, the ministry stated. According to the application, the drill program will consist of six test holes drilled in various locations.
The test holes will be drilled using a small excavator.
The equipment will allow the proponent to cut across vegetation in a transverse fashion without requiring trails or the removal of trees. The drill program will take two to four weeks to complete if the application is granted.
The total property spans approximately 42 hectares (104 acres).
The ministry will receive comments from the public on the application up to Aug. 29.
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