While one proposal to mine gravel from the north end of Maple Ridge’s 256th Street, is on hold, another, possibly more contentious proposal is in process.
Owners of two properties along 124th Avenue at 236th Street want to haul gravel out of the area, up to 400,000 cubic metres, then bring in top soil and restore the area for agricultural use. The land is within the Agricultural Land Reserve borders.
The problematic part is the proposed pit is adjacent to residential areas. It’s not in far reaches of 256th Street where few people would be affected. Understandably, the people who live in the area are upset.
Coho Creek runs nearby. The impact of thousands of gravel trucks rumbling down 124th Avenue and the effects on the neighbourhood, both man-made and natural, is a concern.
Gravel is an essential part of our economic growth. You can’t build roads or buildings without the stuff and it has to come from somewhere and provincial laws trump local in locating such operations.
In this case though, Maple Ridge has the final say.
The applicants have to get district approval for non-farm use of the land, giving council the option of forwarding the project to the commission or rejecting it and killing it, outright.
Politicians will get their first look in September when the application goes to committee. Residents will be there in numbers.
It’s early in the process and there are plenty of questions. Council should be prepared to dig deep to get all the answers before it makes a decision.