MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY — The county's municipal planning commission (MPC) has approved a development permit for an aggregate extraction/processing and beaming project in the McDougal Flats rural neighbourhood west of Sundre.
The approval came by way of motion at the commission's recent meeting, held in person and on Zoom.
The 121-acre parcel of land involved is located at SE 35-32-6-5 south of Highway 584. The project value is $1,000,000.
The applicant and landowner is Didsbury-headquartered West-Can Seal Coating Ltd.
The county approved the redesignation of the property to aggregate extraction processing district on Sept. 29, 2021.
The applicant’s community consultation was conducted as part of that redesignation.
“Additional community consultation was not required as part of the development permit process as the application was submitted within one year of the redesignation approval,” administration said in a briefing note to the commission.
The applicant is proposing a dry pit extraction with the addition of a wash plant at the site.
“The gravel pits are proposed to include all associated pit operations such as stripping and stockpiling, aggregate extraction, loading, crushing, hauling and truck traffic,” administration said.
“In addition the applicant (has) proposed to place berms to provide visual and noise mitigation on the southerly, easterly and westerly portions of the property and is maintaining 165 metres of undisturbed buffer from the surrounding dwellings adjacent to the gravel pit.”
West-Can anticipates hauling approximately 75,000 metric tonnes from the pit annually, the company said as part of its permit application.
“West-Can is forecasting to generate an estimated 11 truck trips per day and a maximum of eight commuter trips per day on Rge. Rd. 61,” the company said.
Nineteen letters of objection to the proposed project and one letter of support for the project were received by the commission.
The letters of objection raised concerns such as “cumulative impacts of noise, air pollution, and traffic to adding more gravel pits in the area,” environmental impacts, impact on health, decreases of property values, and “incompatibility with surrounding land uses.”
In one letter of objection, a resident wrote in part: “There will be health risks to the local population, both humans an animal, in mental and physical ways. These are known factors in all gravel operations. The value of our properties will decrease substantially if another gravel pit is allowed in this area. I am definitely opposed to this development as I feel we already have too much aggregate extraction in our area.”
In a response to the objection letters, the company submitted a letter to the county saying it has plans to mitigate concerns. The company said, in part, “West-Can is committed to ensuring this development does not affect the local aquifer. We have no desire to sell water or de-water the site ever. This application is for dry pit and only mining above the water table.”
County administration supported the application, saying it was in accordance with the Land Use Bylaw No. 21/21.
The development permit approval comes with 39 conditions, including the following two prior to issuance conditions:
- Prior to issuance of the development permit the applicant, landowner and/or operator shall enter into a road construction agreement with Mountain view County for the required upgrade to the intersection of Highway 584 and Range Road 61. The road construction agreement shall include securities to be obtained to ensure completion of the intersection.
- Prior to issuance of the development permit the applicant, landowner and/or operator shall enter into a road use/haul route agreement for all pit operations from the pit within the SE 35-32-6-5 along Range Road 61 to Highway 584.
The MPC is made up of county councillors and appointed public members. It is the municipality’s approving authority.