Property owners dig in heels against proposed gravel pit

A proposed gravel pit will provide no benefit to residents while saddling them with noise, dust and traffic problems, say Red Deer County property owners.

A proposed gravel pit will provide no benefit to residents while saddling them with noise, dust and traffic problems, say Red Deer County property owners.

About 30 residents attended county council’s meeting on Tuesday to show their opposition to a proposal to build a gravel pit on a pair of quarter sections owned by the Pine Hill Hutterite Colony about five km west of Springbrook.

The first phase of the pit will be 12 acres and will be reclaimed as additional phases happen.

Council approved first reading of a Land Use Bylaw amendment to include the area in a gravel overlay district, a necessary step for the project to go ahead. A public hearing is set for July 5.

Vince Ohama lives along Burnt Lake Trail, which would be a gravel truck route if the pit is approved, and said dozens of residents are against the project.

Ohama said there has been an “overwhelmingly negative response” among property owners who will be affected by the gravel pit.

The value of their properties and their marketability will be affected.

Some owners could see the value of their properties drop by hundreds of thousands of dollars, he said.

“We feel that council should reject this application based on the multiple and cumulative combination of negative factors that exist in this (application),” he said outside council chambers.

Residents are concerned about safety on school bus routes when gravel trucks begin rumbling up and down Burnt Lake Trail and Range Road 28-4. The proposed haul road isn’t suitable for the kind of heavy traffic a gravel pit would create and the intersection at Burnt Lake Road and Range Road 28-4 is already “horrendous,” he added.

The effect of dust on the health of livestock and people is a worry and some are concerned the gravel pit could disrupt the aquifer county residents rely on for their water.

Ohama said residents feel there’s a question of fairness at stake. Why should dozens of landowners be affected by a project that benefits only the applicant, they argue.

“This is not NIMBY (not in my backyard),” he said. “I’m not anti-development. I am anti-unfairness.”

Wayne and Donna Arrison once owned the land that is proposed for the gravel pit. It was their best farmland and say it should not be turned over to industrial development.

The Arrisons are also concerned how the project will affect groundwater and family members who still live on nearby properties.

Danny Scott, who is working with the Hutterite Colony on their application, said the project won’t proceed until the county is satisfied that it has met all requirements. Among the work that would be done is a traffic impact assessment to ensure the haul route is suitable.

The county will provide necessary dust control and bill it back to the pit operator. Water will not be a concern, he said, adding more than 60 test holes on the hillside site did not hit water.

“Everything has to be addressed before it’s approved,” said Scott. “This isn’t going to happen overnight. There are a lot of steps to go through.”

In a letter that went out to adjacent landowners, the county says besides dust control a noise impact assessment will be required because there is a residence withing 800 metres of the proposed pit boundary.

The pit would operate 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. six days per week, closed on Sundays and statutory holidays. Crushing and screening would be limited to 10 weeks per year.

A public hearing has been set for July 5 at Red Deer County Centre.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Erika Fetterly, owner of EFP Studios, recently launched the Let Them Have A Voice campaign. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta photographer’s campaign aims to give youths a voice

An Innisfail photographer is giving a platform to young central Albertans so… Continue reading

The Red Deer Rebels hosted the Medicine Hat Tigers in the first game of the shortened 2020-21 season on Friday. The two teams faced off again in Medicine Hat Saturday (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Red Deer Rebels fall to Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday

Tigers 7 Rebels 2 The Red Deer Rebels have lost two straight… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

More than 120,000 Albertans have signed up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the first two days of appointment bookings. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta Health Services apologizes after seniors struggle to book vaccine appointments

The CEO and president of Alberta Health Services is apologizing after seniors… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Kyle Moore, 26, will be a houseguest on Season 9 of Big Brother Canada. (Photo courtesy Big Brother Canada)
Red Deer man will be a houseguest on Big Brother Canada

A Red Deer man will be a houseguest on the upcoming season… Continue reading

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is condemning alleged vandalism at the… Continue reading

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Machin waits to appear at the Standing Committee on Finance on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Executives who engage in so-called "vaccine tourism" show both an ethical disregard for those less fortunate and a surprising lack of business acumen, experts argue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine tourism is both unethical and bad for business, experts say

Executives who engage in so-called “vaccine tourism” show both an ethical disregard… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers' Jesse Puljujarvi (13) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Justin Holl (3) battle in front as goalie Jack Campbell (36) makes the save during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, February 27, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
No Matthews, no problem: Minus NHL goal leader, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 4-0

Leafs 4 Oilers 0 EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs knew even with… Continue reading

The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Pornhub policies reveal legal gaps and lack of enforcement around exploitive videos

OTTAWA — Serena Fleites was in seventh grade when a sexually explicit… Continue reading

Sean Hoskin stands on a neighbourhood street in Halifax on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Hoskin was diagnosed with COVID-19 almost a year ago with symptoms that still persist. Some provinces have established programs to deal with long-term sufferers but Atlantic Canada, with relatively low numbers of patients, has yet to provide a resource to assist them. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
On East Coast, exhausted COVID-19 ‘long haulers’ hope specialized clinics will emerge

HALIFAX — On evenings when Sean Hoskin collapses into bed, heart pounding… Continue reading

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough to cover the average pinky nail but is made up of more than 280 components and requires at least three manufacturing plants to produce. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
From science to syringe: COVID-19 vaccines are miracles of science and supply chains

OTTAWA — A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough… Continue reading

Most Read