Gravel pit supporter appeals rejection

The backer of a proposed gravel pit near Markerville that was rejected by Red Deer County is appealing.

The backer of a proposed gravel pit near Markerville that was rejected by Red Deer County is appealing.

Wendell Miller, of 6M Holdings, will make his case before the county’s subdivision and development appeal board at Red Deer County Centre on July 10.

The appeal will mark Miller’s fourth attempt to get approval for a gravel pit operation on a stretch of land near the Medicine River several kilometres south of Markerville.

A September 2010 proposal was denied by the county’s municipal planning commission and that decision was upheld on appeal.

Miller was back before the planning commission on June 10 with a dramatically scaled back proposal, but failed to sway the commission, which narrowly defeated his application by a 4-3 vote.

About 50 people packed council chambers for the hearing.

Most of the residents who spoke were against the proposal, citing concerns about noise, dust, impact on fisheries and the gravel pit’s proximity to a flood plain.

Gravel pit developments close to rivers have been blamed by a number of residents across the county for increased flooding problems along Central Alberta water courses.

Miller had reduced the size of his proposed pit to 28 acres from about 126 acres and planned to reduce operating hours, the pit’s lifespan and the amount of truck traffic.

Among strong supporters for his application was Coun. Richard Lorenz, whose division includes the proposed pit.

Miller could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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