City council approves quarry plans near Crestview

Crestview residents will see the construction of a second gravel quarry north of their subdivision, following last night's city council decision. Members of council voted unanimously in favour of rezoning .

Crestview residents will see the construction of a second gravel quarry north of their subdivision, following last night’s city council decision.

Members of council voted unanimously in favour of rezoning 2.75 hectares of land to allow for Cee & Cee Dirt and Gravel Ltd. to build a quarry along the Alaska Highway.

Based on the company’s application, high-quality machinery will be used to mitigate noise and dust levels, and activity on site will be limited to the hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Crushing activities will be limited to a period of one week per year.

The company is also required to clean up the land upon completion of the project. That includes slope grading, landscaping and reforestation.

Moreover, a 30-metre buffer will be established between the quarry site and the nearby Trans Canada Trail.

But Mike Ivens, a Crestview resident and member of the city’s trails and greenways committee, said that’s not enough space.

“They’re saying it’s a 30-metre riparian setback but that would mean from the lake,” Ivens said.

“I guess maybe what we need to do on the committee is establish a standard setback for trails. I don’t think 30 metres will provide much of a buffer between quarry operations and the hiking trail.”

Ivens, who addressed members of council during a public hearing on June 15, had previously suggested a buffer zone of 50 to 100 metres.

The company has already scaled back its application from 4.7 hectares to 2.75, based on recommendations by the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board.

According to a report prepared by city administration, creating a 50-metre setback would reduce the area to approximately 2.16 hectares and “greatly impact the viability of the project.”

Forty-six property owners who live within one kilometre of the site received letters from the city about the project.

Councillor Betty Irwin, who had also expressed some concerns about the proposal and its potential impact on nearby nesting grounds, said she felt more comfortable with the idea now.

“I had quite a few reservations about the development of this quarry but I’m happy to see a lot of these have been addressed,” she said last night.

“Quite a few compromises have been made, particularly in respect to relocating the access road and the establishment of a 30-metre zone, which will mitigate disturbances in the area.

“Because of the development taking place in the city, and will be taking place, we do need these gravel resources.”

The company currently operates another quarry slightly north along the Alaska Highway, which is nearing the end of its lifespan. It wants to create an access road that would link the sites to combine its resources and get the most out of the existing quarry.

Coun. John Streicker said the one outstanding issue he’d like to see addressed is the highway crossing, but he trusts the Yukon government will address it because it is within its purview.

“Any time we have heavy equipment on the roads it’s a time to make sure we’re doing it safely,” he said.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

myles@yukon-news.com

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