NEWS

Sheridan Hill gravel pit planned where Pitt Meadows children play

03/08/2015 05:37 EDT | Updated 05/08/2015 05:59 EDT
Pitt Meadows, B.C. residents are fighting to stop a developer building a gravel pit on more than seven hectares of nearby Sheridan Hill, where their children play and the Twilight movies were filmed.

"It would be really sad," said seven-year-old Kairo. "My favourite part is...behind our house...and this view...playing up here," said his 10-year-old brother Ronin.

The brothers regularly play among the woods on Sheridan Hill with their friends, Jacqueline, 8, and Kaden, 10, and their mother Darcey Heath — one of 100 people who protested against the plans for a new quarry there on Saturday night.

Heath and her husband Aaron moved to the area three years ago and say residents already have to contend with one gravel pit on a different part of the hill — and they don't want another.

"They have pictures falling off the wall when they blast, cracks in their foundations, constant noise, constant dust," said Heath.

"[Another quarry would mean]  they'll be blasting from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. six days a week... so that's a concern."

Province to decide on new quarry

Close to 50 properties could be affected by the pit and opponents in the community say the plan would disrupt their lives and cause environmental damage.

A petition against the pit has already gathered hundreds of signatures, but work on the new quarry could begin as early as April 1.

"We had a proposal and all of a sudden they're talking about when they're going to move in or not," said resident Rachel Robichaud.

The proposal is in the hands of B.C.'s Ministry of Energy and Mines, which recently allowed the existing Sheridan Hill quarry to expand.

Some residents say they've lost faith in the ability of the City of Pitt Meadows to do anything to change the situation.

"Well the rules haven't changed," said Pitt Meadows Mayor John Becker.

"I think what has changed is our community's perception that we have limited support from the provincial authorities ... what may appear to be consultation may be window dressing."

The ministry says there will be a consultation process with the community, but notes the project does not require an environmental assessment.

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