In a close, 4-3 vote, Mission council has denied the application for a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) that would have allowed an asphalt plant to run in the Steelhead area.
Councillors Jag Gill, Mark Davies, Ken Herar and Danny Plecas voted against the proposal, while councillors Cal Crawford, Carol Hamilton and Mayor Pam Alexis voted in favour.
The TUP was requested for the properties located at 11596 and 11546 Dewdney Trunk Road. Originally, the proponent had requested a rezoning of the properties, but later withdrew the application in favour of the TUP.
Both applications received strong opposition from residents of Steelhead, who protested outside of municipal hall whenever the matter came before council.
During the meeting, on Monday night, Coun. Gill said he could not support the application because of the location.
“I would support an asphalt plant in Mission, but not in the Steelhead area … The future of Steelhead in my eyes, isn’t industrial,” said Gill.
Coun. Hamilton said she has respect for the passion the community has brought forward to council, but still felt the TUP was the best route to go, considering the legal opinion presented at the meeting.
That opinion states that even without the TUP, the proponent has the right to run an asphalt plant, on the one property (11546 Dewdney Trunk Rd.) under the existing land use contract.
The contract is specific to the type of plant (an older, obsolete plant that would likely not meet today’s environmental standards) and would have to be updated to include the new equipment.
According to the legal opinion, council would likely have to approve the changes to more modern equipment, because the proponent has inherent rights to run an asphalt plant on that property.
Also, in 2024, when the land use contract runs out, as long as the plant has been operating during that time, they can run it in perpetuity.
Hamilton said approving the TUP “gives us more control over the whole operation.”
Mayor Alexis expressed similar views as Hamilton.
“The conditions that came with the TUP and the additional conditions that we talked about would absolutely limit production, would limit the footprint and would put the Vancouver standards as far as air quality in place,” she said.
The proposed TUP had more than two pages of conditions that would be put in place had the permit been approved.
“Knowing that the applicant has options to proceed, my opinion was that if we could put conditions and a time limit, we could control the time the asphalt plant was operating on that site.”
While the TUP has been denied, the future of the asphalt plant now depends on what the proponent decides to do next.