LETTERS: Mission needs to reopen public hearing on asphalt plant

Closing the public hearing at this point circumvents the purpose of the public hearing process

Regarding the Jan. 24th article “Asphalt proponent willing to talk, meet with the community.”

Tyler Dean suggesting that a meeting with concerned residents be held outside of the public hearing process is pointless, because everything that should be said about this proposal is meant to happen in front of council.

That is the whole purpose of the public hearing process – to have council, the public, and the applicant come together in the room to thoroughly discuss the proposal and raise questions and concerns.

Council members are the ones who vote on this issue, so meeting without them present makes zero sense. Council decides impacts, so they need to hear everything being said. On the night of the public hearing, Tyler Dean did not introduce himself to any residents or bother to stand up to speak, apparently because “he didn’t want to fight with members of the public.” This is baloney.

The fact is, Tyler Dean, acting for Gordon Hartshorne Holdings Limited Inc., had plenty of opportunity to be transparent with the community before and during the public hearing, not only to inform residents of the proposed rezoning but to answer any and all concerns that residents might have. Instead, he chose to be silent.

In spite of the overwhelming number of questions and concerns raised by residents and councillors, Mayor Pam Alexis chose to close the public hearing rather than extending it or holding another one. That was her choice, and because she did so, she is now refusing to receive any further information from the public – calling it “illegal” – but is allowing staff to submit another report in support of the applicant and the proposed rezoning without any further public input.

This is wrong. Closing the public hearing at this point circumvents the purpose of the public hearing process.

How many times is this “process” going to stonewall Mission residents on rezoning or land-use issues? How many times has it happened in the past?

Mission residents should be very concerned by this proposed asphalt plant and rezoning, not only because of what is being proposed, but because of the way that it’s being proposed.

The mayor should hold a second public hearing. At this point, that is the only transparent, fair, and right thing to do.

Martin Marinutti

Mission

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