Out-of-court settlement over gravel quarry appears to be nearing

·2 min read

A long-running dispute between the City and a concrete maker and the owner of a gravel quarry it relies on for material could be nearing a resolution.

Rolling Mix Concrete (B.C.) Ltd. and Rock'n'Roll Aggregates Ltd. have been at odds with the City since October 2020, when the City issued a stop work order after finding their gravel mining operation southwest of the intersection of North Nechako Road and Foothills Boulevard had encroached on a 100-metre setback from land zoned for residential use.

While honouring the order issued under the City's soil removal bylaw, Rock'n'Roll and Rolling Mix jointly filed a notice of claim in February, asserting that the B.C. Mines Act takes precedence.

A site plan submitted to the provincial government as part of securing a permit under the Act shows a 50-metre buffer from residential areas along the west and north sides and a 10-metre setback along the south and southwest boundaries, although it's also noted in court filings that its permit allows a buffer of as little as five metres.

The matter was scheduled to go before a judge this past Monday, but 10 days prior to the hearing a requisition was filed at the Prince George courthouse stating the parties have agreed to adjourn the matter generally.

Reached Tuesday, the City's lawyer, Troy DeSouza confirmed that the sides are working on an out-of-court settlement. DeSouza declined to provide details but did say the discussions have been fruitful.

Once a settlement has been reached on a civil matter, a consent order is usually filed with the court.

Rolling Mix pays a royalty to Rock'n'Roll to extract material from the site and the yearly volume exceeds 100,000 cubic metres of sand and gravel, according to court filings.

The 100-metre setback imposed by the City has had a significant impact on the business, the filings further contend, saying that it removes 48 per cent of the reserves available, based on a five-metre setback

The Evergreen Mobile Home Park borders its western boundary and, with the Caledonia Mobile Home Park on the other side of North Nechako Road, the north side is also considered bound by residential use.

The stop work order applies to second and third phases of work Rolling Mix had planned to develop to supply material for its concrete-making plant.

Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen

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