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Stevens Quarry saga continues

A proposed quarry at the northwest corner of Whitehorse has neighbours concerned.

A proposed quarry at the northwest corner of Whitehorse has neighbours concerned.

The Stevens Quarry, a five-pit 119.5 hectare sand and gravel quarry, is currently before the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board.

The board is accepting public comments on the proposal and next week it’s hosting a public meeting about the project.

Craig Beatty is hoping that the meeting will be well attended.

He owns a large piece of property directly across the river, overlooking the site of the proposed quarry.

While he doesn’t live there now, his plan was to retire there, build some cabins and start an ecotourism business.

If the quarry goes through, he’s going to have to reconsider those plans, he said.

“This area, historically - since settlement, has been agriculture, ecotourism and country residential,” said Beatty.

A recent study of the area found about 2,350,000 cubic metres of sand and gravel at the site, but there may be more than that, said Ben Campbell, a Whitehorse city planner.

The city has been looking at developing Steven’s Quarry for a long time.

In 1994, it put those plans on hold, but revived them a few years ago.

In 2010, the city and the Yukon government signed a contribution agreement for the planning and design work for the quarry.

Right now there are 13 quarries operating within city limits, but many of those are reaching the end of their life, said Campbell.

Because gravel is essential to all kinds of construction, “we have to plan ahead and propose new quarries,” he said.

The public meeting will be held Wednesday, Nov. 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Hidden Valley School.