Gravel pit rejected for fourth time

A proposed gravel pit near Markerville has been rejected a fourth time. Red Deer County’s subdivision and development appeal board rejected an appeal launched by Wendell Miller of 6M Holdings Ltd., who wants to build a gravel pit on 28 acres next to the Medicine River south of Markerville.

A proposed gravel pit near Markerville has been rejected a fourth time.

Red Deer County’s subdivision and development appeal board rejected an appeal launched by Wendell Miller of 6M Holdings Ltd., who wants to build a gravel pit on 28 acres next to the Medicine River south of Markerville.

His application was turned down in June by the county’s municipal planning commission. A previous application — much larger in scope — was turned down in 2010, and an appeal also failed.

A group of nearby landowners has been fighting against the project, arguing it is on a floodway, could damage an aquifer and fish habitat and would create noise, dust and traffic problems.

Submissions were made to the board by both sides during a two-day appeal hearing earlier this month.

In its decision dated Monday, the appeal board says it is “not satisfied that the proposed development would be an appropriate development with the ESA (Environmentally Significant Areas),” a county designation that protects certain areas from “inappropriate development.”

The board says it had concerns with the impact of the development on groundwater and the Medicine River and a report from 6M’s consultants was not a “quantified assessment of the proposed gravel pit on ground water resources.”

Potential flooding was also highlighted as a concern. The board notes a berm proposed in the earlier application was not included in the scaled-down project. Eliminating the berm left “insufficient evidence” that conclusions reached in previous environmental studies that the project would not pose flooding problems remained valid.

“Additionally, the board was concerned about the noise generated by the proposed development and its impact on adjacent landowners,” says the decision, adding that the river valley carries and amplifies noise.

Traffic was also pointed out as a concern by the board, which says there wasn’t enough evidence on truck load numbers to conclude there would be no detrimental impact on surrounding landowners.

The Council of Canadians Red Chapter, which supported the landowners and submitted a letter in opposition to the gravel pit, applauded the appeal board’s decision.

“In spite of the ongoing strategy of firms wishing to quarry gravel almost everywhere, repeatedly proposing mines and appealing denials in the hope they will grind down the finances and resolve of the local citizens, a proposed gravel mine in a shallow aquifer west of Innisfail, Alberta, has again been denied,” says treasurer Ken Collier in a statement.

The council opposed the project because of its potential impact on an aquifer that runs through the pit area.

Proponent Miller was reached on Tuesday but said he preferred not to comment until he had a chance to read the decision.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Unemployment rate and EI beneficiaries down in Central Alberta

The unemployment rate for Red Deer region and the number of people… Continue reading

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month