Two bylaws were introduced Monday which would prohibit gravel pit operations within Whistler, although it’s still doubtful anything can be done to prevent the proposed gravel pit between the Cougar Mountain Road and the heliport.
The application by Whistler North Developments Limited to remove 35,000 cubic metres of gravel annually for 10 years is expected to be approved by the Ministry of Employment and Investment. Under the Mines Act, an application can not be rejected so long as the operation meets Workers Compensation Board regulations.
Municipal concerns about esthetics, impacts on tourism and residential areas are not grounds for the ministry to reject the application.
While it’s unlikely the bylaws introduced this week can apply retroactively to the Whistler North Developments gravel operation, they should prevent any further applications for gravel pit operations.
The first bylaw, given first and second reading Monday, would delete "resource uses" from permitted uses on RR1 zoned lands. Resource uses include extraction of gravel and aggregate and logging. The bylaw will be the subject of a public hearing.
The second bylaw, given first, second and third reading Monday, would prohibit removal of soil, clay, sand, gravel, rock and other soil matter from land within Whistler. The bylaw requires the consent of the Ministers of Municipal Affairs and Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.