An application to use the Big Bam access road as the sole route to a proposed gravel pit operation is receiving a lot of negative attention.
The District of Taylor has put forward an appeal to the Peace River Local Government Association objecting Belvedere Place Developments’ proposal to the Ministry of Mines to use the Big Bam access road as the major route to the new gravel pit operation.
The District says it is concerned with a variety of issues involved in the use of the Big Bam road. Some concerns include the safety of campers, cyclists and pedestrians, generated noise and dust within the park, the disruption of tranquility within the park and the integrity of the road itself. Another issue it expressed is the potential increase in traffic on the already busy Alaska Highway when entering and exiting the park.
According to Taylor City Councillor Betty Ponto, the district does not oppose the quarry itself, but rather the heavy industrial traffic that would be taking place on the road. The road itself runs alongside and the Peace Island Park.
Although the District of Taylor operates the park and much of the surrounding land through a lease agreement with B.C. Hydro, the road falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. As a result, the municipality has no authority over who uses the road.
According to Ponto, the District was not pleased with the lack of consultation by Belvedere Place Developments’ about its proposal submission.
However, Ponto says the District is willing to discuss the current situation with the development company to work on a solution.
The District has expressed its concerns through multiple letters to the Ministry of Transportation, which have been signed by Taylor Mayor Fred Jarvis. It is asking not only the support of the PRLGA, but also anyone who shares the same feelings to express his or her concerns. The deadline to respond to the Ministry of Mines is Friday May 6.
Ponto’s biggest hope is that both sides can reach a mutual agreement through discussions. Although the idea of litigation is being discussed by the District.
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