SURREY – City council unanimously denied an application for a construction waste recycling depot in Fraser Heights after residents came out dead set against the project.
Some 205 residents submitted their opposition through letters and petitions, and many took to the podium during Monday’s public hearing, urging council to shoot the request down.
Mainland Engineering Corporation had applied to the city to rezone a property, located at 10436 173rd Street, from Industrial Park Zone Two to Light Impact Industrial 1 Zone, in order to develop the recycling depot.
Marcie Kroeker, vice president of the Fraser Heights Community Association, said the group had a flood of emails and communication from residents who strongly objected to the facility. At council Monday, she said chambers were packed with residents.
The neighbourhood took several issues with the project, most notably the increased truck traffic it would bring, debris on roads, as well as health concerns related to contaminated materials.
"We have children walking to school, we have pedestrians, we have bikers, we have runners, it’s a busy area, and to have that many trucks coming in and out with debris coming off of the trucks as well, it’s a concern for us."
Health concerns were top of mind, with many worried about the possibility of asbestos and other hazardous materials being brought into the neighbourhood.
Kroeker said the community isn’t against recycling by any means, but didn’t think this was a suitable location for such an operation.
Coun. Bruce Hayne said there was considerably more opposition than he had expected, particularly because the property was already zoned for industrial uses.
"But quite frankly, the community came out and articulately stated why it’s not going to fly there," he said Tuesday. "They had some very, very good arguments."
Coun. Tom Gill said the applicant "did an extremely poor job of communicating with the community" and was "illprepared," noting only one public information meeting was held.
Mainland Engineering did not respond by deadline.