Whitehorse Daily Star

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QUARRY SUBJECT RESURFACES – Lesley Cabott of Stantec and Doug Gonder, the owner of Norcope Construction, discuss the potential quarry in the Alaska Highway/Robert Service Way area before city council on Monday evening.

Council to dig into quarry issue again

City council will once again consider the possibility of an Official Community Plan (OCP) amendment that could start the process for a proposed Norcope Construction quarry in the Alaska Highway/Robert Service Way area.

By Stephanie Waddell on January 11, 2018

City council will once again consider the possibility of an Official Community Plan (OCP) amendment that could start the process for a proposed Norcope Construction quarry in the Alaska Highway/Robert Service Way area.

Council deferred a decision on the proposed OCP change at Norcope’s request when it first came forward last year.

Norcope owner Doug Gonder had asked for the deferral to give the company time to consider a number of issues that came forward and provide any further information that might be needed in light of the concerns.

Lesley Cabott of Stantec engineering consultants, which has been working with Norcope on the plans, and Gonder made a presentation to council on Monday evening.

Work has been done to ensure the issues raised when the matter was deferred last March have been looked at and more information provided to the city, they told council.

“The concerns have been addressed,” she said.

As it was stated in a report to council: “The revised mapping shows a reduction in development area from 21.5 hectares to 9.9 ha with potential access points from Miles Canyon Road.

“Norcope has submitted information regarding the final quarry elevations, rail crossings, renderings and drone footage from different locations to the proposed site.”

Cabott and Gonder recognized both the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwach’an Council have already stated they don’t support the proposed OCP change.

The First Nations have indicated, however, that they would be open to discussions about gravel extraction as part of the overall upcoming OCP review.

Norcope has not been able to meet with the First Nations to hear and address their concerns.

While Norcope respects the fact that First Nations may not support the proposal, the company asked that the city permit first reading to go ahead so a public process can happen.

At this stage, Gonder argued, it’s important that Norcope be granted the opportunity to have the public review the plans and see if there’s anyway to move forward.

It’s recommended, though, that council defeat the proposed OCP change at first reading after the report highlighted a number of matters beginning with the OCP.

“Although the proposed Industrial designation also permits heavy industrial activities, Norcope would not be able to apply for IH - Heavy Industrial zoning, as OCP policy 8.2.2 requires a minimum 500 m buffer from residential designations,” the report says.

“The proposal achieves the 300 m buffer for natural resource extraction as specified in policy 8.2.3 of the OCP.

“Administration notes that an OCP review process is scheduled to begin in the near future, and a comprehensive citywide study of quarry resources, requirements and industrial/commercial land suitability will take place at that time.”

The report then goes on to speak of the suitability of the site, noting it’s unlikely it would be suitable for any future development there following the quarry’s lifetime.

The report also notes that Miles Canyon Road – which would be used to access the site – is highly used by those seeking recreational opportunities in the area.

“Norcope has stated that by moving the gate further from the highway and providing space for parking, the quarry access could enhance the area,” it’s stated.

Council will vote on whether to move forward with first reading next week.

Comments (6)

Up 3 Down 0

Bob Ablanalp on Jan 15, 2018 at 10:50 am

this meeting should last about 2 minutes
writing NO on the decision document won't take that long

Up 4 Down 0

north_of_60 on Jan 14, 2018 at 11:22 pm

Norcope bulldozes a road in and makes a mess without permission, and nothing is done about it. Now they're back again with the same old ideas. There's already plenty of quarries along the old Copper Mine haul road.

Tell Norcope NO, fine them for the mess they made, and make them pay for reclaiming the land.

Up 2 Down 4

Chaz on Jan 14, 2018 at 1:50 pm

Considering that aggregate is the foundation of physical growth it's a no brainer this needs approval not to mention the location keeps costs down.

Up 6 Down 1

My Opinion on Jan 14, 2018 at 12:43 am

Every time I pick up a paper he is in court with someone. Jobs not done correctly, rules not followed, house over his property line. The City should know this very well with the experience they have had with him. He should get ZERO consideration for this.

Respect is earned not demanded.

Up 4 Down 1

BnR on Jan 12, 2018 at 6:57 am

So, Doug goes ahead and punches an exploratory road into the site, tries to just go ahead and git'er dun, gets caught. Nothing happens. If you or I just punched a road in somewhere, we'd get fined at the very least, and now, he's doing the Doug thing of trying to get his way no matter what.
What's next, rock trucks in front of city hall?
No. No. No.

Up 3 Down 2

a person on Jan 11, 2018 at 10:42 pm

This is pathetic. A former city manager going to bat for a land grab in contravention of our official community plan. Why is this even being considered?!

Just say NO!

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