City of Powell River Council has given the first two readings to a zoning bylaw amendment that would permit use of the proposed resource-recovery centre on the old city incinerator site.
Council gave the readings at the Thursday, October 3, council meeting. Staff has been directed to schedule a public hearing regarding the zoning amendment.
In introducing the matter to council, at the Tuesday, October 1, committee of the whole meeting, city manager of planning services Jason Gow said the purpose of his report to councillors was to consider an amendment to the zoning bylaw to permit the establishment of the resource-recovery centre at the former city incinerator site on Marine Avenue.
Gow said qathet Regional District had been championing the initiative for the last five years.
“Recently, the city and qathet entered into a project agreement that will guide the development of the resource-recovery centre,” said Gow. “One of the requirements from the project agreement is to amend the zoning bylaw to permit all works and uses for completing the project and permitting all ongoing operations. To achieve this, staff recommend an amendment to the definition of civic use from the zoning bylaw. The definition currently excludes solid waste processing facilities.”
Gow said the resource-recovery centre, in its dealing with recycling, upcycling and reuse, as well as the commercial transfer station that is to be included as part of the solid waste management plan, will be a solid waste processing facility.
The property is zoned PK, which is a zone for parks and playing fields. Gow said staff recommend leaving the current zoning intact.
In a report to council, Gow said the former incinerator site lands were granted to the city from the province for parks purposes many decades ago. City staff are currently engaged with the province to ensure the resource-recovery centre is an acceptable land use under the terms of the crown grant.
“We are trying to leave it as much as a park and to feel like a park,” said Gow.
Civic use is a permitted use in the park zone. Under the proposed amendment, the definition of civic use would allow for those lands leased to qathet Regional District by the city to operate a resource-recovery centre at the old incinerator site.
Councillor Jim Palm asked if council passes the amendment, how long would it be until groundbreaking at the facility.
Gow said there is a development schedule, and it’s an estimate, but the regional district is looking into 2020 to start some of the groundwork, as well as development of the access road that comes off the highway.