In 2007, CVRD staff recommended that the CVRD not try to write a SOIL REMOVAL AND DEPOSIT BYLAW saying the Ministry would never accept it. In 2009, Metchosin passed such a bylaw and the Ministry accepted it.
During the OCP steering committee meetings, CVRD staff refused to add soil removal and deposit recommendations to the OCP. They also refused to add restrictions on gravel pits and quarries, although the CVRD has successfully defended such restrictions in the BC Supreme Court. Is the CVRD willing to challenge the Provincial government only when it affects Cobble Hill?
Ministry of Environment officials appear to be pleading with the CVRD to do something to protect their residents.“Regional districts have mechanisms to control land use through zoning and bylaws.” They seem to be begging the regional district to put zoning bylaws in place to prevent these facilities. Then they will be able to say to proponents – “We would like to consider your proposal, but unfortunately the CVRD Bylaws do not allow such a facility”.
Rather than bylaws that shield us from this nuisance, our new OCP does nothing to manage aggregate extraction or fill dumping. Our new bylaws, still in the draft stage, do nothing to control aggregate extraction or dumping. In fact, they appear to encourage it.
Not just in Shawnigan. The proposed South Cowichan (a mythical entity, similar in its imaginary nature to the Eco Depot and hopefully, the SIA contaminated waste facility) Bylaws contain no restrictions on Soil Removal or Deposit. They contain no controls on aggregate extraction and processing on Industrial or Rural Resource zoned lands (there are no longer any Forestry zoned lands).
With no help from the CVRD, the residents must confront this challenge on their own.
The problem we have is that a mediated solution does us no good. The middle ground between a contaminated waste facility and no contaminated waste facility is not half a waste facility. It is not a not-too-badly-contaminated waste facility.
The only acceptable outcome is NO facility at all.
Please visit Brent’s blog to read his entire post and his other insightful entries that address many of the issues that Shawnigan Lake residents are facing.