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Judge rules for asphalt plant

Plant owner moving ahead with plans to install new portable operation this spring

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Silveri said he plans to put what he calls a state of the art asphalt plant at the sight in the spring. He said the $2 million plant produces 5 to 10 parts per million (ppm) of particulate compared to the 30 to 50 ppm produced by the old plant and a provincial standard of a maximum of 120 ppm.

The plant is computerized and Silveri said there are a number of them operating in Vancouver close to homes and he noted there is one in New Westminster operating near a hospital.

"In the middle of summer you won't even know it is running," Silveri predicted.

Cheakamus Crossing resident Tim Koshul, who has been a vocal opponent of the asphalt plant, said he felt like he was punched in the gut when he learned of the latest court decision.

"Who would ever imagine that such a beautiful neighbourhood would have to be exposed to heavy industry beside it?" Koshul asked.

He said he planned to discuss with his wife whether their home will go up for sale.

"I have a child coming in six weeks and I don't think I'm going to win 'Dad of the Year' if I expose my child to the dust and the toxins and those kinds of things," Koshul said.

"I look forward to seeing what the new mayor and council do," he added. "They certainly all ran on a campaign that we need to fix the problem that the previous regime created and they will be held to task on that. We have to find a solution. These two things shouldn't mix, especially in this town."

On the Cheakamus Crossing Facebook page, Koshul and at least four other residents indicated they intended to appeal their recent B.C. Assessment property value notices. Tuesday was the deadline to appeal.

Any successful appeals based on the court decision allowing the asphalt plant to continue operating could potentially lead to reduced property tax payments for Cheakamus Crossing residents.

Others, however, suggested that a wait-and-see approach be taken as council considers what to do.

The ruling comes after hearings Nov. 21 and 22 at B.C. Supreme Court.

Despite the injunction Whistler Aggregates continued operations at the plant, which was kept busy last summer with contracts that included paving at Rainbow and on the Duffey Lake Road.

Whistler Council then instructed the municipality's solicitors to serve the plant operators with court documents to get the enforcement of the zoning bylaw before the Supreme Court.