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Decision on industrial zone in Port Harvey postponed

RDMW requests additional information and site visit.

The future of Port Harvey is still up in the air.

A decision regarding a proposed industrial zone in Port Harvey, a popular boater destination on West Cracroft Island in the Broughton Archipelago about 60 km south of Port McNeill, was postponed by the Regional District of Mount Waddington’s (RDMW) board of directors.

A heated public hearing took place last month, where a crowd of about 30 people voiced their opinion over proposed zoning bylaw 895, which would allow proponent Mike Buttle Services Ltd. to undertake marine industrial uses in the area.

“Earlier today in our regional planning committee meeting we did adopt a couple resolutions with respect to bylaw 895,” said RDMW Manager of Planning and Development Services, Jeff Long.

The regional district had three options at its board meeting on August 15. They had the option to either deny the proposed bylaw, table the bylaw pending additional information which would require another public hearing, or proceed with the bylaw.

“The regional planning committee recommended that the board postpones consideration on the decision in respect to bylaw 895, 2016 in order to give its members more time to review and consider the information and public input associated with it,” said Long.

He added RDMW staff will have to prepare a report that outlines options for the provision of additional information needed as per the draft development agreement before further consideration of the bylaw can take place.

Many pleasure boaters, including George Cambridge who owns Port Harvey Marina, had expressed their concern over how the proposed bylaw would impact Port Harvey.

“Not only is our business going to suffer and probably close, but our residential property value will be diminished,” said Cambridge during the July 18 public hearing.

Prior to the public hearing, the district received 65 written statements from the public regarding the proposed bylaw, which have also been entered into the official record.

Proposed bylaw 895 contains multiple conditions which Mike Buttle Services Ltd. would have to meet in order to conduct industrial work in the area, including pollution prevention and the provision of potable water and sewage treatment and disposal services.

The second motion made regarding the bylaw during the Aug. 15 meeting was that “the board and Regional Planning Committee conduct a site visit to the areas subject to bylaw 895 and that the proponent fund the cost of the site visit.”

Both motions were passed by the board.