Plug pulled on 124th Ave. gravel pit proposal

Application withdrawn after public protest, but another can be filed any time.

The gravel pit proposed for 124th Avenue has been shelved, following a crowded Maple Ridge council meeting Monday, when residents blasted the idea.

Mayor Ernie Daykin said Wednesday the application for a non-farm use of the property at 23613 – 124th Ave., has been withdrawn.

“The letter from the applicant cited the angst created in the area as the reason for withdrawing the application,” Daykin said in a letter to a residents.

That pleases Steve Hamilton, who would have lived next to the pit.

But he’s also wondering if the proposal can be revived at a later date.

Nevertheless, people were surprised at the announcement. Neighbours around 236th Street and 124th Avenue had joined together, held a neighbourhood stroll protesting the idea and created a Facebook page.

“Everybody was surprised. We were looking forward to the ninth,” Hamilton said. “We weren’t even as well organized as we could have been.”

Oct. 9 is when council would have voted on sending the application to the Agricultural Land Commission or killing it outright by refusing to forward it. Residents had planned on being at that meeting, as well.

“Our concern is, when can he bring this back again – or will he?” Hamilton said.

According to district staff, another application can be filed at any time.

Dave Telep, with Donada Industries, along with Rae-Glenn International Development were seeking a non-farm use of the property to allow mining of up to 400,000 cubic metres of gravel. They were asking the district to forward the application to the Agricultural Land Commission.

Staff recommended against sending it on.

Telep said he wanted to remove the gravel, then bring in soil to allow hay production on the 37 acres.

Neighbours, however, didn’t like the idea of dust, noise and hundreds of gravel trucks rumbling down narrow 124th Avenue, the road which would have been the access point for the operation.

They packed council chambers Monday and outlined concerns about health and noise.

Telep sent a letter to the district Wednesday, saying the application was being withdrawn because of the “obvious distress” it was causing people in the area.