Gravel sales steered away from council

Langford will no longer bring land developer requests to sell gravel before council, but has delegated decision-making to staff.

Langford will no longer bring land developer requests to sell gravel before council or committees, but has delegated decision-making to staff.

The city planner will authorize the sale of gravel from development properties, which can become stockpiled during the process of clearing land and blasting rock.

Since 2009, Langford issued two temporary use permits, one for property on Walfred Road and one on Happy Valley Road, to allow the developer to sell excess gravel.

Permit requests were brought before Langford’s planning committee, where incensed neighbours complained blasting and crushing gravel was too disruptive and noisy.

“When it was brought to committee, people thought they could stop the blasting or crushing, when they couldn’t. It was a false process. We were getting the public in here who didn’t understand the process,” said Coun. Denise Blackwell, chair of the planning committee.

“We kept explaining that we can’t stop the blasting and crushing. All we are doing is letting them sell (gravel) to get it off the property.”

Intensive land development, such as crushing and blasting rock, is regulated by the province and WorkSafeBC. Langford officials point out that temporary use permits allow the City to regulate the scope of the operation, such as time of day and weekends.

Among the list of Langford’s regulations for rock sales, blasting is limited to 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and Saturday, and crushing and rock removal is limited to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Crushing can’t take place within 20 metres of a residential property.

Neighbours around a potential rock sales site must still be notified in writing three weeks before the permit is issued.