A four-–person council voted three to one March 6 to approve a development variance permit needed to allow the construction of an 18.2 metre high concrete batch plant near Yew Road.
The application by Stockwell Sand and Gravel for a height variance was considered by councillors Alice Lutes, Tom Lamb, Chris Moore and Doug Hockley at the March 6 regular council meeting.
Mayor John Henderson and Coun. Mike Shanks left the room, citing a perceived conflict of interest, and Coun. Darnelda Siegers was away on vacation.
“I’m concerned about the height of the building. It’s gone from 10.5 metres to 18.2 metres,” Lutes said. “That’s much bigger than what we endorsed before. I’m also concerned about the traffic on the road if we increase the capacity of this plant by another almost eight full metres. I have some real concerns over the impact that’s going to have on the neighbourhood and I don’t know if we’ve addressed it properly, so I’m going to vote against it.”
Moore argued in favour of passing the height variance.
“All groups have had a shot at this thing. All issues regarding the colour and visual impacts have been voiced and have been addressed, and staff’s recommended adoption of this, so I don’t know what the problem is,” Moore said.
Hockley noted the colour of the new concrete batch plant would help it “blend into the embankment.”
“I’ve spent some time down on the waterfront on East Porpoise Bay and also across the way in The Shores to look at the potential profile of what the tanks would bring up and quite frankly for the life of me I can’t picture them being seen,” he said.
When the question was called, all but Lutes were in favour.
The District has started to hammer out their 2013 budget with the first information meeting held this week. The second budget discussion meeting is scheduled for March 20 at 3 p.m.
Lutes reported that she attended the first meeting of the new housing committee set up by the District recently.
“We started with a round table discussion around the needs and how to address those needs with a doable project as we have one year to be productive, so there’s a bit more research to be completed and brought to us. At our next meeting we’re hoping to start right into work as quickly as we can,” she said.
Shanks spoke about the Sunshine Coast youth outreach program funded through local governments during his report.
“This year through the program they have served 1,033 youth, they have clocked almost 732 service hours, they have made 974 contacts with youth, and they have given 374 safe rides home for youth,” Shanks said. “In my opinion this is an organization always worthy of more funding.”