Neighbours oppose development

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A parcel of land west of High Prairie will soon become a site for a fueling station for a logging truck company despite concern by some neighbours.
At its regular meeting Nov. 10, Big Lakes County council gave final reading to amend the land-use bylaw to redistrict land on Highway 2 at Range Road 181 to rural industrial from agricultural.
The reading came after a public hearing during the meeting.
Gary Couch spoke against the bylaw. He says the development will interfere with the lifestyle on the family residential property.
“We’ll be surrounded by industry with noise, vibrations, pollution, unpleasant odours,” says Couch, who notes it could also affect water in the dugout.
“You can vote to devalue our lives and property.”
Shaun Poole suggested the site be located at another location.
Property designated industrial is located about one kilometre east across from the High Prairie and District Golf Course, says Pat Olansky, director of planning and development.
Council did not respond to any of the concerns.
Big Lakes received an application from Northern Road Builders to redistrict 12 acres of the property just west of Tolko, Olansky wrote in a report to council.
Corporate manager Paul Driedger says the company plans to use the site for its winter logging operations.
“Our plan is to use only the 12 acres on the front part,” Driedger says.
“We figured it’s a perfect location for our trucks because we do a lot of work for Tolko.”
He says about 40 trucks will use the site Monday to Saturday during the working season.
Driedger says the company also does a lot of work for High Prairie Forest Products owned by West Fraser.
Work of the site started before the company approached Big Lakes County about rezoning.
“It came to the attention of the planning and development department that extensive excavation and site grading was taking place on the parcel,” Olansky wrote in her report to council.
Upon investigation, it was determined that the company was preparing for large truck parking and the development of a temporary fueling station for their logging operations in the High Prairie region.
The County has since received a development permit application for the proposed development on a 12-acre portion of the parcel.
Trucking operation was neither permitted nor discretionary in the agricultural district.
Trucking operation is defined in the land-use bylaw as a parcel of land that is used to store trucks and related equipment and may include a maintenance shop/garage and office) and is a permitted use under the rural industrial district.
Other properties in the area are designated in a rural industrial district.

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