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REPORTING · 3rd June 2013
Walter McFarlane
Tonight, at City Council, Council is scheduled to give third reading to the Zoning request from Peace Trailers Industries (PTI). There has been a lot said by the public at meetings, in letters and online. A report has been given to Council for them to read over the weekend in the Council Package.

The recommendation which is coming before Council tonight is: “That Council consider public comment received; consider proposed amendments and give 3rd reading as amended and adopt the Bylaw.”

There are two recommended amendments. One for a provision of cash or in kind contribution of $500 per sleeping accommodation paid as each bed becomes operational to the District of Kitimat to fund affordable housing in Kitimat.

The other is to create a ‘Good Neighbour Agreement’ by providing a meeting space to facilitate groups at no cost to the community.

The report also provides several answers to questions asked by the community throughout the process which has taken place. Council will discuss the residents’ concerns tonight.

The report states PTI must meet specifications for sewer and water connection and pay $300 per bed for improvements at the sewer plant. It will have the same noise restrictions as other places in Kitimat and will be surrounded by a wildlife Fence. A soundproof fence has been proposed along the wall adjacent to Blackberry Street and the outdoor recreational site at Daudet Creek.

An air photo map provided by PTI shows the closest building to Loganberry Street is as far back as 50 metres (from the centre of the road). The Closest building to an existing home is 225 metres. District Administration has secured a commitment to maintain a tree buffer.

According to the report, all traffic concerning the residents to and from the facility will be done with shuttle busses.

Finally, the report says the following about PTI’s location: “PTI requires a site of approximately 12 hectares (30 acres). PTI is on the record as stating they were not able to secure an appropriate site west of the Kitimat River.”

The rest of the document consists of a drafted bylaw and a map of Kitimat showing the proposed camp. The public’s reaction is provided among several different documents, including the minutes from the public hearing, and the agenda for said hearing.

Only a few people have expressed opposition to the camp itself. Not because of the workers, but because they would like to see new residential developments in town and concern of the effect on the local hotels.

A majority of the people who have presented are opposed to the camps location in Strawberry Meadows and would like to see it moved elsewhere in Kitimat. Reasons why include concerns over changes to the zoning, traffic, crime and noise.

Several residents of the Kildala Neighbourhood around the proposed location camp have even expressed if they had known the location had been proposed for PTI, they would not have moved there. Many people want to make sure Kitimat gets something out of PTI being in Kitimat.

Those who are in favour of both the camp and the location are concerned that by not meeting PTI’s request for a zoning change, the community could drive the facilities and the 200 jobs which come with it to Terrace where there is available land.

They also point out, there is an opportunity for the local businesses, either in the vicinity of PTI or as part of a recreation package which could be assembled.

Finally, PTI itself has written the District and told them the Strawberry Meadows location was based on a business decision as the other sites they looked at had challenges with size, affordability and landscaping. They also told Council the infrastructure legacy will be a long term benefit to Kitimat.

This is what Council will be considering tonight.
Comment by Bob Drake on 4th June 2013
build it at the airport? lots of land available, I'm sure the Terrace merchants will beat a path to their door.
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 3rd June 2013
Residents of Strawberry meadows , get ready to hire a lawyer, This is a donr deal.