County residents angered as gravel pit moves ahead

Residents opposed to a planned gravel pit northwest of Springbrook feel “misrepresented and dismayed” by the planning process.

Residents opposed to a planned gravel pit northwest of Springbrook feel “misrepresented and dismayed” by the planning process.

Adele Ohama, who is among a group of residents who have united against the Red Deer County project, said they feel their concerns have been “dismissed” and a public hearing in July was just “for show.”

Ohama and a number of residents opposed to the project were at Tuesday’s county council meeting when third reading was granted to include the gravel pit site in a gravel extraction district, which allows it be mined. The quarter section of farmland owned by the Pine Hill Hutterite Colony along Range Road 284.

Third reading had been on hold since July to wait for the completion of a Traffic Impact Assessment. The decision followed a sometimes emotional public hearing that saw council chambers packed with concerned residents.

The traffic assessment recommended that the Range Road 284 haul route be upgraded to an eight-metre county standard with more shallow ditches to improve safety. Gravel trucks will be kept off the route when school buses are picking up and dropping off children.

Ohama said the measures do nothing to reduce the dangers posed by adding gravel trucks to traffic on local roads including Burnt Lake Trail.

As well, the county failed to acknowledge the impact of the development on nearby property values and ignored its own mandate to protect agricultural land and environmentally sensitive areas.

Mayor Jim Wood said council heard the concerns about safety.

“Basically, that road is going to be upgraded significantly to make sure that we have a very safe road,” he said, adding the county has been working with Chinook’s Edge School Division on that issue.

Road upgrades are at the developer’s expense. Other issues around dust, noise and hours of operation will also be addressed before any digging takes place.

“Those will be outlined in our development agreement that they will have to abide by,” he said.

While agriculture land will be used for the gravel pit once it is played out it will be returned to usable farmland, he said.

“Council took a really hard look at our decision the other day. I felt confident that the process will address the issues outlined by the public.”

The gravel proposal must still receive development permit approval from the county before it can proceed.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Red Deer respiratory therapist Sarah MacKenzie was among the first central Alberta health professionals to receive the Pfizer vaccine in December 2020. Since then, nearly 3.4 million doses have been administered and COVID cases are falling rapidly. Photo by Alberta Health Services
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall sharply

Red Deer cases almost into the double digits after topping more than 900 only five weeks ago

(Advocate file photo.)
City of Red Deer eases policies to spur more development

Developers will gain flexibility under new rules

From left: Montana First Nation councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation councillor Shannon Buffalo and Samson Cree Nation chief Vern Saddleback were present during the painting of the Maskwacis Pride crosswalk. (Contributed photo)
Being gay made him contemplate suicide: Councillor in Maskwacis opens up

Maskwacis got a bit mote colourful over the weekend. Volunteers spent Saturday… Continue reading

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2021 file photo, transporters Miguel Lopez, right, Noe Meza prepare to move a body of a COVID-19 victim to a morgue at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles. The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has topped 600,000, even as the vaccination drive has drastically slashed daily cases and deaths and allowed the country to emerge from the gloom. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
US COVID-19 deaths hit 600,000, equal to yearly cancer toll

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 topped 600,000 on Tuesday, even as… Continue reading

FILE - In this April 1, 2019 file photo, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry talks about health care legislation he's backing in the upcoming session, in Baton Rouge, La. The Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal land and water was blocked Tuesday by a federal judge in Louisiana. U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty's ruling came in a lawsuit filed in March by Louisiana’s Republican attorney general, Jeff Landry and officials in 12 other states. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte, File)
Federal judge blocks Biden’s pause on new oil, gas leases

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and… Continue reading

Israeli police officers detain a Palestinian man during clashes that erupted ahead of a planned march by Jewish ultranationalists through east Jerusalem, outside Jerusalem's Old City, Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)
Israelis march in east Jerusalem in test for new government

JERUSALEM (AP) — Hundreds of Israeli ultranationalists, some chanting “Death to Arabs,”… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) vies for the puck with Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (7) during the third period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Vets Pietrangelo, Perry contributing for Vegas, Montreal

LAS VEGAS — Alex Pietrangelo and Corey Perry had very different free… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen stands for the national anthem prior to an NHL hockey game against the Calgary Flames in Montreal, Saturday, January 30, 2021. Public health experts say Quebec should wait until more people have received a second dose of COVID-19 before increasing the number of fans allowed to attend Montreal Canadiens home games. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Quebec to increase arena capacity before first home game in Habs playoff series

MONTREAL — Quebec will increase the number of people allowed to attend… Continue reading

New CFL balls are photographed at the Winnipeg Blue Bombers stadium in Winnipeg, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Halifax regional council will consider today a new report on a proposed 24,000-seat stadium, the pivotal component of a bid to land a Canadian Football League team for the East Coast's largest city.THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
A coal mining operation in Sparwood, B.C., is shown on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. A lengthy new report commissioned by landowners near proposed new Alberta coal mines concludes mines would create environmental liabilities that exceed their economic benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Study warns Alberta has failed to consider damage to foothills from coal mining

New coal mines in Alberta’s Rocky Mountain foothills would create more environmental… Continue reading

Most Read