CITY of North Vancouver council will continue to lobby Port Metro Vancouver and Richardson International to find a more "neighbourly" solution for a proposed expansion of a grain terminal on the waterfront.
Council passed a resolution Monday night expressing "concerns about the practicality of expanding the subject terminal as proposed from a safety, environmental and community impact perspective. ." The council resolution went on to request that PMV allow the project to be subject to the city's permitting, fire and emergency response planning processes.
Richardson applied to PMV last August to build a 45-metre high grain silo to the east of its existing silo as the global price for grain has shot up in recent years. The revelation drew outcry from community members who live in eye, nose and earshot of the terminal, as well as city council. The port never mentioned Richardson's plans during months of consultation for the Low Level Road expansion project over the last two years.
"Nothing was said about this," said Coun. Don Bell. "At the time we were discussing the Low Level Road, we were talking about the sound bouncing off the existing silos that are there and the impact on views."
While he acknowledged that there is no guarantee that a view will be preserved forever, Bell said residents have a right to continue living in their homes without undue risk of air and noise pollution.
"There is already concern about dust from the operation and if we see this end up going from three million metric tonnes a year to five, there's going to be a proportionate increase in the amount of dust. It appears there is no further mitigation efforts planned," he said. "It's something that is frustrating because it is beyond our control and yet we have a duty to speak up on behalf of the residents that we know will be adversely affected by this."
After being one of the biggest supporters of the Low Level Road deal, Coun. Craig Keating said the application represents a potential sullying of the relationship between PMV and the city and its residents due to a lack of communication or responsiveness on the part of the port.
"My larger concern is when there's a certain tone-deafness with Richardson and Port Metro Vancouver over this development, it simply makes the job harder for future port activities to proceed and I want future port activities to proceed," he said. "I think we are in a dangerous situation where the Richardson application is burning up a lot of the social capital and good will needlessly."