The chorus of people opposed to a proposed gravel quarry near Minnekhada Regional Park is growing.
Last week, PoCo politicians spoke out against the planned quarry, located at the corner of Quarry Road
and Calgary Drive, and now one Coquitlam councillor intends to bring up the issue when city council meets for the first time after summer break on Sept. 9. Coun. Lou Sekora said he's been flooded with calls from concerned residents after word got out about the proposed quarry application. "It's the craziest idea I've ever heard of," he told the Tri-Cities NOW.
Sekora said he's concerned about the environmental impact the quarry would have being next to the park, calling it "unacceptable." He also suggested the city doesn't need another gravel quarry.
The long-time city councillor said he intends to put a motion forward opposing the quarry in hopes of stopping the project in its tracks.
He also intends to reach out to local MLAs and officials in Victoria to voice his opposition to the project.
The quarry application is through the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and was made by John Carley of Langley.
According to the ministry's website, phase one is the investigative phase during which, if issued, Carley will send a crew to drill six test holes into the ground to see whether there is any valuable sand or gravel to extract.
If Carley is successful in his venture, then phase two starts the construction and operation of the quarry.
The deadline for public comment passed on Aug. 28.
The proposed quarry would be located east and north of the Partington Creek Neighbourhood Plan boundary, which is pegged to house 15,000 residents. The land is currently zoned to allow for a gravel quarry and another quarry is located up the road, but the product is shipped out by barge.
PoCo Mayor Greg Moore and Coun. Brad West expressed concerns over the quarry to the Tri-Cities NOW, including environmental impact and lack of consultation - specifically, the timing of the public-comment period during summer when councils don't typically meet.
Sekora also noted Coquitlam was never consulted and he only heard about the application after it hit the news last month.
According to the ministry, investigative permits are issued for a maximum 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.
A permit cannot be used by the proponent as a precedent for being granted tenure for a gravel quarry operation.
© Copyright 2013