Controversial gravel pit application doesn't get Kelowna council support
By John McDonald
Image Credit: Shutterstock
April 11, 2016 - 4:30 PM
GRAVEL TO BE REPLACED WITH FINE SOILS AND TURNED INTO APPLE ORCHARD
KELOWNA - Neighbours opposed to a gravel extraction application in their East Kelowna neighbourhood got some grudging support from Kelowna city council this afternoon.
Council was split on whether to support the application to the Agricultural Land Commission but a tie vote meant it was defeated.
A crowd of local residents showed their opposition to the application, which spokesperson Joanne Tuttosi says most had never heard off until this week. The defeat today, April 11, does not mean the gravel extraction will not go ahead, only that Kelowna council doesn't support it.
The non-farm use application to the Agricultural Land Commission by the Turton family of Mathews Road proposes to pull out 40,000 metric tonnes of sand and gravel from a 2.7-hectare site and replace it with fine soils to faciliate a new apple orchard.
One to two metres of sand and gravel will be extracted after top soil is stripped off and stored. The orchard would then supply the family’s cider-making operation.
The extraction remediation, valued at $125,000, is supported by an agrologist’s report and staff have recommended council back the application as positive for local agriculture.
The current owners purchased the the property in 2003 and applied last year to the B.C. Ministry of Mines for a notice of work permit.
After the motion of support was defeated, council agreed to send its comments about why to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, which regulates gravel extraction.
— This story was updated at 9:01 a.m., April 12, 2016, to correct the name of the road.
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