Mission council is anticipating a long and contentious public hearing on a plan to develop a gravel pit operation on Caswell Avenue, adjacent to the existing Shaw pit.
Council has set aside an evening solely for that public hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at the district hall, a day after the regular council meeting and public hearing.
Kerr Properties has already held two public information sessions on its plan to mine and crush gravel from the pit. Many of the people who have attended the meetings expressed concerns about noise, truck traffic, dust and the potential effect on their water supply. The property is located in a rural area of Mission near Keystone Avenue, and there are a number of homes on larger acreages in the area.
It has been suggested that an existing private road through the Shaw pit could be used to keep truck traffic off Shaw Street. However, council was told that due to continued extraction of gravel at the Shaw pit, the road would be unsafe for use by trucks from the Caswell pit. It is expected that trucks from the new pit would use Caswell Avenue and Shaw Street to access Keystone.
The public hearing is required, as the property will need to be rezoned from rural to industrial.
The hours of operation and other conditions are set by the provincial ministry of mines. The pit is to operate from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
“All residents (in the area) should have a copy of all the conditions of the (provincial) permit, so that complaints can go directly to the ministry,” said Mayor Randy Hawes. “If they are not in compliance, they can be temporarily shut down by a mine inspector. That is pretty costly.”
Hawes, in his former capacity as Abbotsford-Mission MLA, served for a time as minister of state for mining in the BC Liberal provincial government.