Final Death Blow to County Gravel Policy Comes at April 30th Council Meeting
To top off the April 30th council meeting, the majority threw out the long-promised Aggregate Resource Plan without any meaningful discussion. Council’s policy subcommittee asked for a councillors’ workshop so all of Council could understand the issues involved in a gravel policy and for an extension in the deadline for Administration to bring back a revised policy until after that workshop had been held.
The motion to adopt the subcommittee’s recommendation was defeated in a 6 – 3 vote with only Hanson, Kissel, and Wright in support. The same 6 – 3 majority then supported a motion from Councillor Gautreau to cancel any further work on an aggregate resource policy and to direct Administration to assess future applications through the existing development permit process.
It should be mind-boggling that the majority is arrogant enough to believe they can adequately regulate complex gravel operations on a case-by-case basis, especially given that they have studiously avoided discussing the issue. Unfortunately, that level of arrogance is no longer shocking.
The County Plan mandated the development of a county-wide gravel policy. Since the majority think the entire County Plan should be thrown out, it isn’t surprising that they would disrespect commitments made under that Plan.
This decision also demonstrates the majority’s disdain for residents’ concerns. Consultations on gravel policy generated more public engagement than any other County policy. The uniform message from residents was that a county-wide policy is needed to protect their health, safety, and quality of life from gravel operations in the County. To not even attempt to address this overwhelming message is beyond disgusting. Not only would a gravel policy have addressed residents’ concerns; it would also have provided clearer guidelines to gravel companies as to where gravel pits could or could not go.