Bearspaw residents anxiously await decision on open gravel pit application

Click to play video: 'Rocky View residents raise concerns over proposed gravel pit near Calgary’s city limits' Rocky View residents raise concerns over proposed gravel pit near Calgary’s city limits
After fighting the project for nearly 30 years, some Rocky View County residents worry a gravel pit could be approved at a meeting on Tuesday. Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports – Feb 2, 2021

Residents living in Bearspaw are awaiting the outcome of a Rocky View County council meeting on Tuesday in which members will discuss the potential construction of a new gravel pit in the area.

It’s the third time Lehigh Hanson Materials Ltd. has tried to get the pit built; it was denied in 1994 then again in 2010.

Now residents who live in the area and oppose the construction of the gravel pit are worried their luck might be running out.

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Lehigh Hanson Materials wants to rezone 600 acres in the northwest corner of Burma Road and Rocky Ridge Road so they can build the pit.

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The company says they would only be excavating 60 acres at any point in time and it would be mined for around 25 years.

A report set to be presented to Rocky View County council on Tuesday said administration has received over 400 letters against the development and only eight in favour.

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Residents have hired their own consultants who have raised concerns about the amount of silica dust that would wind up in the air, as well as possible damage to an aquifer in the area.

The area in question, close to Calgary’s northwest city limits, already has several other gravel operations and having another larger one is not something some people living in the area want.

Residents say they don’t like the idea of the noise and truck traffic it might bring.

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The report set to go before council on Tuesday said the applicant has addressed concerns over the impacts on traffic noise, water and air pollution.

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However, people who live there say it just doesn’t make sense to build a gravel pit near an area so many people now call home.

“Not only has Rockyview County continued to expand, (so) has the north of Calgary,” Bearspaw resident Catriona Le May Doan said. “So we look at all those residents — they will be affected.”

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The report notes that Alberta Health Services didn’t raise any objections to the proposed gravel pit.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, residents won’t be able to attend Tuesday’s council meeting in person, but will instead be watching virtually from home.

Global News reached out to Lehigh Hanson Materials Ltd. for comment but hadn’t heard back at the time of publishing.

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