The Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) has asked Maple Ridge council to decide whether a proposal to extract up to 400,000 cubic metres of gravel should be considered.
A notice of intent was sent to the land commission a few weeks ago from Damax Consultant to mine gravel on a property at 23613 124th Avenue in east Maple Ridge. The ALC has the authority to allow gravel extraction on farmland, but the CEO Richard Bullock decided to allow council to decide whether it should be given consideration.
“Given the significance of this project, should you wish to pursue gravel extraction, I am ordering that an application for non-farm use be submitted pursuant to section 20(3) of the Agricultural Land Commission Act (ALCA),” Bullock wrote to the applicant. “Please note that non-farm use applications are to be submitted to local government, in this case District of Maple Ridge.”
Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin said the District still doesn’t have a lot of details on the application.
“I’ll keep an open mind and evaluate the [application] on its merits,” he said.
Daykin estimated that 400,000 cubic metres of gravel would mean about 25,000 truckloads being carried out.
The project is proposed over a two-to-three-year period.
Daykin said he’s going to do his research on the project, but he wasn’t unhappy that the decision was given back to council to decide.
“It gives the opportunity to make decisions that affect us – our community,” Daykin said.
If council decides to forward an application to mine gravel on the 124th Avenue property that’s in the Agricultural Land Reserve to the ALC, the commission will then decide whether or not to approve it. (An application has not yet been received.)
If it is approved, municipal processes and requirements will be set in place.
For example, a public hearing would be triggered by the need to amend the Official Community Plan.
The soil removal bylaw would have to be amended as this property isn’t listed as one for gravel extraction.
A mining permit is also needed from the province, which might require an environmental assessment.
If council decides not to forward the application to the ALC, it won’t go any further.
The proposed route for the gravel trucks is via 124th Avenue and west to 232nd Street.