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For Immediate Release
February 22, 2013
Vancouver (CP) – Mission developer and Steelhead community resident Dean Hodgson, of H & H Contracting, presented his community with an ultimatum to accept one of two housing development proposals or submit to a third proposal, which would see Hodgson’s 80 acre property on Thomas Avenue turned into a gravel pit.
If residents fail to convince the Ministry of Mines to reject Hodgson’s mining permit by March 8th, he could begin to move forward on his planned extraction of 477,000 cubic metres of pit-run. The push for a gravel pit comes after Hodgson failed to convince Steelhead residents and Mission Mayor and Council on January 7th to accept his request to have the current zoning in the area changed to accommodate his plans to build a subdivision.
Mayor and Council cited that his proposal was outside the Official Community Plan (OCP) and not in the district’s best interest. Councilor Jenny Stevens said, “I think this is a great development, but at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Steelhead Community Association chair Mark Diamond, addressed Mission Mayor and Council on February 4th indicating the mining proposal does not benefit the community or the district. Diamond said, “We have been told that there is 75-100 years of gravel already permitted in the Fraser Valley so there isn’t a dire need for the gravel extracted from Thomas Avenue.”
All of Hodgson’s proposals present long-term problems for residents, and all of them require the removal of some or all the pit-run found on his property. Almost all the residents of Steelhead are on wells, and any disturbance of the water tables will affect residents’ water supplies. Sedimentation problems for creeks and wetlands, both on and around the property are also a concern. The compounding effect of noise and air pollution from heavy equipment, along with incompatible roadways, poor access to the property and the community’s safety from excessive truck traffic, are just a few of the issues facing both the developer and residents.
Mission Mayor and Council are not happy with this mining proposal and they are concerned that matters of development that impact a community in this way are out of their hands to control, and they fully support the residents of Steelhead on preventing this permit from being approved.
For more information contact:
Mark Diamond, Chairman
Steelhead Community Association