July 3, 2013
On Tuesday evening June 11th, 2013 the Future of Howe Sound Society made an oral statement at the SCRD Public Hearing in Gibsons. The hearing was the standard process to allow the public to make comments to the Planning and Development Committee and staff prior to the third reading of amendment to the rezoning bylaw 310 that will rezone 62,500 square meters of the McNab Creek Valley from RU2 (Rural Two) specifically to allow for an Independent Power Project.
Submission Re Box Canyon Hydro Project (submitted after the close of the meeting). Here are excerpts:
The Future of Howe Sound Society believes:
- the McNab Creek Valley should be maintained in its current Primary natural state and not developed at this time for Secondary industrial use until a full assessment and plan for the region has been developed and approved.
- there is a need to improve the stakeholder engagement on projects this size.
- third reading of the bylaw should not proceed based on loss of fish and wildlife habitat and potential harm to species that are being reintroduced to this valley together with cumulative impacts to Howe Sound. (At the time DFO’s approval of the compensation plan was still pending).
- the SCRD should retain the power to require a Development Variance Permit.
- the SCRD should not approve the rezoning of this land and construction of the power project unless it has the resources to access the project to monitor and provide public reports on compliance.
The SCRD Planning and Development Committee will receive the staff report at their meeting on July 18th. At that time they may vote to approve the third reading of the bylaw or request another public hearing.
For complete information about the project: http://www.scrd.ca/Hydro-Power-Projects
News media related to the public hearing: Coast 91.7 FM News Whistler Question