Trucks carrying gravel. (John Morrow/ The Progress)

Trucks carrying gravel. (John Morrow/ The Progress)

Gravel crushing permit for the top of Promontory in Chilliwack

Council sets several conditions after neighbours come out to public hearing with concerns

The public hearing last Tuesday at city hall heard comments from citizens about a proposed permit to allow gravel and rock processing plant at the top of Promontory hill.

The application brought out a litany of concerns and complaints from neighbours ranging from noise, dust, blasting, traffic violations, truck staging, kids’ safety, and more.

The purpose of the temporary-use permit (TUP) application was to allow quarrying, crushing and transportation of crushed rock and gravel from the site at 45660 Morton Road and 45878 Weeden Drive.

The key question for council that night was whether it would allow the applicant to crush the materials on-site. Since the current zoning, an R3 (small lot one-family residential) Zone and RSV1 (limited use reserve) Zone does not permit a gravel and rock processing operation, a TUP was required.

The permit was eventually approved by council — but not before a two-hour hearing ensued, after which several conditions were imposed.

Several neighbours vented their concerns about the idea of a gravel and rock processing, but there was also some unrelated complaints about the work to date on other Promontory projects, and specifically about the impacts of truck traffic, speeding, and dust control. One person said they were worried about vibrations, since a 500-lb boulder had already rolled down and landed in their yard at the bottom of the hill.

Council was told that crushing it before transportation would reduce the total truckloads from 4,600 to an estimated 2,300 truckloads. A city staff member underlined that the material had to come down by road, but that crushing it would mean fewer truckloads up and down.

One speaker said she was not against development, since she had worked in real estate and understood the implications of growth: “We want things done safely,” she said. “I understand the need for growth. I just want to make sure it’s done properly.”

The resident described trucks staging and blocking in front of her driveway while awaiting the gate to open to access the site.

Some said they worried that the gravel-crushing would become a long-term venture, but it was clarified that the materials were intended for site prep, and the TUP could only be extended once, for a total of eight months in all.

One speaker asked if another access route had ever been considered to the site on Promontory and was told that yes it had, and it was not feasible.

Another request from a resident was for an independent traffic supervisor.

After almost two hours of public commentary and questions from neighbours at the hearing, which were answered by the applicant’s representative from Wedler Engineering, council decided to add conditions to the TUP in the wake of so many concerns brought forward.

The engineering rep said the applicants were willing to look at options: “In terms of controlling the trucks, we want quality trucking, so we welcome any kind of controls (as conditions of the TUP).”

The TUP conditions were geared to specifically addressing issues around about vibrations, speed, truck traffic, and dust.

The conditions added by council included:

• Operator to install a seismograph for duration of the permit, with data provided to City staff upon request.

• Operator to provide a mobile speed board to be located in the Promontory neighbourhood;

• Operator to provide a full-time traffic supervisor to monitor truck traffic in the Promontory neighbourhood with a phone number available to residents to report driver behaviour;

• Dust mitigation to be provided on-site; and

• Operator to provide regular street sweeping of streets impacted by truck traffic.

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