By Cindy Filipenko
The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District board last week deferred Terrane Developments’ application for a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) on district land adjacent to the Pemberton industrial part.
The topsoil processing facility’s operations have been a source of contention with the Lil’wat Nation and area farmers over the years. Complaints have arisen due to the smell of the facility and the potential for water table contamination.
“A lot of the complaints came from the fact raw manure was used at the site,” said SLRD planner Amica Antonelli.
Both Antonelli and senior planner Steve Olmstead confirmed that this was no longer part of Terrane’s practice.
In her report to the board, Antonelli recommended that Terrane be issued the TUP. Administrator Paul Edgington concurred with Anotelli’s recommendation, but the board could not support it.
“Objections have been very clear and very strong from Mt. Currie, I can’t ignore that,” said Area C Director Susie Gimse.
Cam McIvor, owner of Terrane Developments, had proposed paying for a monitoring system that would have SLRD staff checking in on the site once a month to make sure it was compliant with the terms of the TUP. Despite this, the Lil’wat Band Council showed no appetite for supporting the TUP application.
The band suggested a fully enclosed topsoil facility would be adequate to engage their support. That idea was rejected by the applicant as not being economically feasible.
According to the staff report there have been no odour complaints arising from Terrane’s operation since December 2005. This fact, combined with the fact the conditions of the permit were developed by a senior waste management consultant and the monitoring program, provided their rationale for recommending granting the TUP on one-year basis.
Director Mickey Macri suggested that the board go on an inspection of the site before making a decision about the permit.
“I think we, the board, need to check out the site and see what we’re talking about,” said the director for Area B.
Gimse agreed with Macri, while VOP Mayor Jordan Sturdy questioned the potential gains of the activity, though conceded a tour of the geography could prove useful.
The only outspoken proponent of staff’s recommendation was Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed.
“I’m prepared to support this based on the report,” said Melamed, noting that it had repeatedly been deferred.
However, the decision on the TUP application was again deferred, until after the board visits the Terrane site.