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MD of Bonnyville residents express concerns about proposed gravel pit

A motion to table a decision on a proposed Class II gravel pit south of Fort Kent was made during the Sept. 14 MD of Bonnyville council meeting. Residents have also been given more time to submit letters of concern.
Gravel pit map MD

BONNYVILLE - Residents near a proposed Class II gravel pit within the MD of Bonnyville have expressed concern about the development. Concerns include increased truck traffic and noise in the area, which is located south of the hamlet of Fort Kent.

The item was brought before council during the Sept. 14 MD of Bonnyville regular meeting. A development application for a Class II gravel pit, which is under five hectares in size, has been put forward. The location is 4.8 miles south of the Hamlet of Fort Kent, heard council.

A Class II gravel pit in the area is deemed a discretionary use, according to the MD of Bonnyville's zoning.

“The proposed operation would include crushing, screening, washing and stockpiling of materials,” according to a background report presented to council. A wash bay would also be located in the shop once renovations are complete at the site. 

The gravel pit would operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday and would be closed on Sundays.

Empty vehicles would access the site from TWP RD 610, and leave from a proposed approach along Highway 657. The lifespan of the gravel pit is set for two years, according to the background report. An Alberta Transportation permit is pending for the approach, heard council.

"Due to neighbour concerns received prior to this application and the cost of a Progressive Reclamation Plan, this application is being presented without the plan to allow council to review to decide if the proposed development would unduly interfere with the amenities of the neighbourhood or materially interfere with/or affect the use, enjoyment or value of neighbouring properties," reads the background report.

The municipality's Public Safety Department has expressed concerns about the number of trucks travelling in the area and noise that would come from wash bay. Public Safety has also received previous concerns from adjacent landowners about this property, according to the background report.

Three letters and one call of concern were received after a letter went out to area residents regarding the proposed gravel pit. Concerns range from noise, to increased traffic, to wear and tear on the road, along with negative impacts on residents' health and environmental issues.

Administration recommended tabling the request to allow the applicant to submit a Progressive Reclamation Plan to be presented by Oct. 26, 2022 council meeting. 

Before making a decision, council approved a motion to allow adjacent landowner Grace Preston to speak to council about her concerns. Preston said she had concerns about noise and traffic on the road. 

“I already hear their equipment.,” she said, adding, the road is narrow and already sees a fair amount of oil field traffic. 

“I also have an allergy to dust. It’s all going to affect my peace and quiet.”

Preston also wondered if the gravel pit would affect her ability to sell her property, if she chose to. And further questioned if it would affect the value of her property. 

As discussions wrapped up, Coun. Josh Crick made a motion to table a decision regarding the development application, but also requested the time allotted for residents to send in letters of concern be extended to Oct. 12.   

“I’ve had a few calls of concerns about it,” said Crick, noting he would like residents to have more time to send in letters. Crick's motion, which also noted a Reclamation Plan would have to be complete by Oct. 5, was approved. The item is set to come back to council at the Oct. 26 council meeting.

Janice Huser

About the Author: Janice Huser

Janice Huser has been with the St. Paul Journal since 2006. She is a graduate of the SAIT print media journalism program, is originally from St. Paul and has a passion for photography.
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