Roger Reid, MLA for Livingstone-Macleod, left, presents MD of Pincher Creek Coun. David Cox with his Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal last Thursday at Reid’s local office. Cox’s medal acknowledges his many years of service with local fire services, including the Pincher Creek Emergency Services Commission.
The commemorative medal marks the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne as Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms.
In Canada, it is awarded to those who are viewed by their communities as remarkable volunteers and contributors, members of the Canadian Armed Forces, emergency service workers and those that go above and beyond in an effort to positively impact their communities.
MD of Pincher Creek council last month approved a rezoning application to expand a gravel pit in Villa Vega, a subdivision in the southwest corner of Division 5, near the intersection of Highway 3 and Highway 507.
The rezoning changes the lot’s land use designation from agriculture to direct control by council through an amendment to the MD’s land use bylaw, advancing the proposed expansion to the development permitting phase.
Craig Anderson filed the application in August on behalf of Alberta Rocks Ltd. Council unanimously rejected a similar application by the company roughly two years ago, according to Reeve Rick Lemire.
Lemire reminded council that the MD hadn’t approved the original gravel pit when it was sunk into the ground about 15 years ago. The lot owner shut the pit down after a sternly worded letter from the MD, but Lemire says the land was never reclaimed.
Alberta Rocks hopes to dig a new pit on the site to extend roughly five hectares. Anderson’s application promises to fill in the pit after it’s retired and then establish suitable ground cover to prevent erosion.
The application says operations would run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout the week, with no operations on weekends or statutory holidays. There will be no gravel crushing on-site. The application details a September 2019 sound test that showed “low sound levels” during pit operations.
The application says the pit is “downwind” from most Villa Vega homes, but doesn’t include specific plans for dust mitigation.
The application triggered a public hearing in October, minutes of which show Anderson suggesting he’d use dust-control products.
Five of Anderson’s neighbours spoke against the rezoning, raising concerns about noise, dust and unwelcome neighbourhood disruptions.
When council took up Anderson’s application on Dec. 13, Lemire said he couldn’t support the rezoning.
“This project was denied two years ago,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, the same conditions are still there.”
Lemire acknowledged that redesignating the lot under direct control gives council broad authority to impose strict conditions, but said the MD doesn’t have the resources to enforce compliance.
“I just don’t think we have the manpower to do all that at this time,” he explained.
Deputy reeve Tony Bruder also voted against the application, with Couns. David Cox, Harold Hollingshead and John MacGarva voting in favour.