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No need for mobile asphalt plant at Green River pit until 2014: Whistler Aggregates

SLRD puts off decision for temporary-use permit until fall after Whistler Aggregates changes plans

The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) has deferred until September a decision for issuing a two-year temporary use permit (TUP) to Whistler Aggregates for a proposed mobile asphalt plant at the Green River Pit in SLRD Area C.

The decision came after the board learned that there would be no need for the asphalt plant at the site this summer at the regular SLRD meeting of April 22. The pit is located near the Wedge Woods subdivision on Whistler's northern boundary.

Paul Allard of Whistler Aggregates made a presentation to the SLRD board putting forth the company's wish to have a two-year permit that would cover the 2014 and 2015 summer season.

The company succeeded in gaining a one-year TUP in March, but company owner Frank Silveri had asked the board to extend that by a year. Allard said there would be no work for the company requiring the setting up of the Green River plant in 2013 so they wished to have a two-year permit that would end in November 2015.

"Technically because of the workload anticipated this year, which is actually none, and the timeframe for Mr. Silveri to set up a plant, this year is probably a moot point. There will be no setting up this year," Allard told the board.

"There is no work being called up in this area that would require him to set up a temporary asphalt plant."

This new information had SLRD staff scrambling to learn more and led to some directors expressing frustration with the late-hour change.

"I'm a little frustrated by what I've heard in that staff prepared a report way back in February advancing the initiative to the board... we had considerable debate with respect to that, we decided to proceed on a short-term basis in order to test the waters," Area C director Susie Gimse said.

"We even used the reconsideration clause, which is rarely used, to advance this once again before the board, and to sit here and have 'well we're not going to need it this year', I kind of feel a little duped."

Allard explained that the company did not know until the end of March whether there would be enough work for the 2013 season for the mobile asphalt plant.

Later in the meeting, the SLRD board decided to postpone the decision until September in order to gather more information and to hold the vote closer to the period requested by Whistler Aggregates.

Integrated Sustainability Plan formally adopted

The SLRD has unanimously approved the Integrated Sustainability Plan (ISP) for the region.

The plan creates a strategy for the next 20 years to define sustainability efforts and public involvement, measure progress and create a system of ongoing decision-making priorities. The process has been used elsewhere in B.C. to establish systems of sustainability at the municipal and regional level.

Existing policies by SLRD stakeholders, including Whistler's and Squamish's, will be used as the ISP's foundation while the organization will continue to follow its own established sustainability programs. Some concerns were express by Area B Director Mickey Macri than the ISP would have a greater impact on the electoral areas in the SLRD that the municipalities.

"The ISP does reflect on all of us at the table, not just electoral area directors," said SLRD chair Patricia Heintzman. "It goes into planning which we all pay for, in general governance policies. This is something that we all bought into."