News » Whistler

No decision yet on asphalt plant

Residents go to court to hear arguments from both sides



The fate of Whistler's asphalt plant now rests in the hands of a Supreme Court judge.

Madam Justice Deborah Kloegman held off making a ruling on the plant after two days of hearings in Vancouver this week.

It is not clear yet if the case will go to trial.

On Tuesday evening the municipality issued this statement:

"The petition brought by the RMOW against Whistler Aggregates was heard on November 21 and 22 in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The judgment was reserved and we await issuance of the judgment in due course."

Several months ago the municipality issued an order to Whistler Aggregates to cease and desist operations of the plant. That order was ignored and the plant continued to operate.

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

This week RMOW lawyers argued for a declaration that the asphalt production use contravenes the zoning bylaw and that the plant should be shut down.

A handful of Cheakamus Crossing neighbours attended court to hear the case put forward by the municipality's lawyers and the legal team representing Frank Silveri, the owner of Whistler Aggregates.

Joseph Farsang was one. He attended both days and said he wasn't surprised there was no judgment at the end of day Tuesday.

Still, he was glad he attended.

"We have been involved since day one," he said, of the groundswell movement among dozens of residents questioning the legality of the plant's zoning.

He has called 80 separate times over the past year to complain about the smell, toxicity, noise and dust from the plant.

"It's just absolutely horrifying to live with this nightmare," said Farsang.

Whistler Aggregates has long operated the asphalt plant in the south end of town. But up until six years ago its neighbours were the town's landfill and the wastewater treatment plant.

Then the community decided to build the 2010 athletes' village, which turned into a legacy of resident housing for hundreds of Whistler employees post-Games.

The two have been living side-by-side acrimoniously for the past year.




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