Whistler preparing for long public hearing 

Public comments on asphalt plant may be heard over two evenings


Whistler council and municipal staff members are preparing for a long evening - or evenings - of public comment when the public hearing for the asphalt plant begins at 6 p.m. today.

Bylaws that would permit Whistler Aggregates to move its asphalt plant 150 metres from its current site have been given first and second reading by council. Tonight's public hearing is the last opportunity for members of the public to give council their thoughts on the matter.

But there may be more speakers than time tonight.

Mayor Ken Melamed has proposed that the public hearing be adjourned at 10 p.m., either because all of those wishing to speak to the proposed bylaws have had an opportunity to speak or because the hearing is being adjourned to the following evening, when members of the public may continue their representations to council.

If council decides to adjourn the public hearing to Wednesday, Sept. 8, starting at 6 p.m., council will need to vote on this tonight.

In addition to the public hearing, council is also expected to deal with a full council agenda today, starting at 4:30 p.m.

The proposed movement of the asphalt plant has been the subject of months of debate, primarily among residents of Cheakamus Crossing who feel the asphalt plant poses health hazards and the 150-metre move is not far enough away from their neighbourhood.

The public hearing is scheduled from 6 to 10 p.m. in the Franz Wilhelmsen Hall of Maurice Young Millennium Place. A speakers' list will be prepared for anyone who wants to speak to the bylaws. Speakers will be asked to sign the list at Millennium Place from 4:15 p.m. onwards.

Each person on the list will be given an initial five minutes to provide comments. Once all speakers on the list have made their submissions anyone wishing to make further comments will have the opportunity to speak for a further five minutes by placing their name on a second speakers' list. The process will be repeated until everyone who wants to speak has had the opportunity. There is no limit to the number of times a person may speak, but they must speak to matters related to the proposed bylaws.

Council is not supposed to debate points or ask questions, other than for clarification.

Written submissions must be received by 4:30 p.m. today.


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