April 23, 2015
The Mountain View County council has approved a bylaw re-designating a former county-owned gravel pit for use by Olds College for its heavy equipment operations program. The Mountain View Gazette reports that the 21-acre gravel pit is located approximately 5 miles west of Olds on Highway 27. The re-designation to aggregate extraction/processing district allows the college to use the area for training Monday through Friday during regular business hours.
“The subject area is relatively flat and is situated on a small rise,” Tony Martens, chief administrative officer at Mountain View County, says, according to the report. “There are no water bodies or wetlands within the subject area, although a small pond is located on a parcel to the south and is owned by the county. The activities occurring within the subject area will not have detrimental impact on the water feature as they are both physically separated by a road.”
The application includes a comprehensive site development plan, which has several objectives, according to the report. Objectives include assisting in the promotion of safe, functional, and orderly development, demonstrating that development is done in a manner considerate of the local area, demonstrating measures put in place to protect environmental features, and showing that development conforms to all county bylaws and regulations. Community impact mitigation measures include having emergency response procedures in place to “help mitigate any safety issues at the site, as well as deal with any emergencies that may occur.”
During a public hearing on April 8, nearby landowner Ian Proudfoot asked the council to reject the re-designation and that reclamation of the pit be started immediately. The report notes that he cited a number of concerns, including noise, dust, odor, and traffic. The council passed a separate motion that Proudfoot’s concerns be forwarded to the Municipal Planning Commission as part of the development permit application process.
The report notes that Olds College will now need to apply for a development permit for the site.