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Letters to the editor

New documents shed new light


In light of recent documents obtained through the British Columbia Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act confirming that the zoning of the land where the current asphalt plant operates clearly does not permit asphalt manufacturing, I would request that the Resort Municipality of Whistler reconsider its recent agreement with Alpine Paving Ltd.

Furthermore, I would request that the Resort Municipality of Whistler exercise its legal option to seek a court order to force the closure of the asphalt manufacturing plant in its current location on the basis that it does not meet the zoning requirements.

The original rezoning amendment application was filed March 16, 1998 by the owner of the land and indicated that the rezoning application was required because the intended use included: "Manufacturing and Processing of asphalt and redi-mix concrete, the storage of related equipment."

A May 28, 1998 memo from the Resort Municipality of Whistler to the Advisory Planning Commission outlined the following:

"On March 16, 1998 Sabre Transport Ltd. applied to the municipality to amend the zoning on their licence of occupation area near the municipal landfill south of Whistler... This quarry is known as W6... The IP1 zoning permits the manufacturing and processing of gravel and aggregates and the storage of related equipment. Ready mix concrete nor asphalt production is currently a permitted use in this zone."

That report concludes with the following statement: "This report is presented to the Advisory Planning Commission for comment regarding the suitability of the proposed zoning amendment to the IP1 zone, which would permit the installation and operation of both ready-mix concrete and asphalt production facilities, and the storage of related equipment."

On June 3, 1998, the RMOW planning department issued a letter to the owner of the land, stating that the Advisory Planning Commission had reviewed the IP1 zoning amendment application and wished to summarize the comments and concerns expressed at that meeting. The letter states the following: "The main concern raised by the commission has to do with the compliance of the existing operation. There is concern with the environmental conditions surrounding Alpine Paving Ltd.'s operation... Alpine Paving is currently a tenant of Sabre's and does not have a permit. Even as Sabre is attempting to include asphalt processing in the IP1 zone to bring this use into conformance, the commission is concerned that the regulations of the Waste Management Act with respect to asphalt processing are not being followed. Since Alpine Paving is currently an illegal use, no permit and therefore no regulations have been followed in Alpine's setup or operation."

These documents clearly state that the municipality, the landowner and the plant operator were aware that asphalt manufacturing was not a permitted use under the IP1 zoning. It never was and it never has been.