The Prince Rupert Port Authority requested a temporary land use permit in a residential zone in the southern part of the city for overflow container storage. Council denied the request, asking instead for a full rezoning application with a detailed site plan.

City of Prince Rupert rejects port’s request for temporary land use

Council, residents concerned largely about noise generated from overflow container storage

The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) is examining its options after city council rejected a permit application to store overflow shipping containers in a vacant lot next to the Scott Road and Hwy 16 intersection.

The 12-hectare site is currently mixed zoning of R1 residential and P1 public use. Council declined a two-year Temporary Use Permit (TUP) due to lack of details in the application and resident concerns mostly over noise.

Staff also advised council against the move due to the two-year TUP exceeding the limit of six months. In addition, TUPs are not permitted on properties zoned for residential use. The port requested a variance from that provision, noting the site’s original zoning was intended for light industrial use but rezoned residential for a now defunct development project.

Due to current market conditions, the PRPA said a higher volume of empty containers is impeding operations during the Fairview Terminal expansion.

The current property owner is using a portion of the land as a fill site, which made it ideal for light industrial development. The port intended to lease the land for two years with the option to later purchase and formalize the property as a buffer between the industrial activity at Fairview Terminal and the residential neighbourhoods, with the expectation there will be demand for activities such as longshore training, servicing of equipment and warehousing.

Ken Veldman, PRPA vice president of public affairs and sustainability, said he appreciates residents’ concerns with noise generated in the short term from container storage, but added the long-term plan for the site would be complimentary to the community.

“If we were to purchase that property and develop it as a whole, as a federal land manager we would be subject to all the federal regulations … but at this point we had just entered this conditional lease agreement and one of the conditions obviously was to see if we could pave the way for temporary use,” Veldman said.

“In the long term, the OCP [City of Prince Rupert Official Community Plan] actually designates most of that land as light industrial, so it seemed like a pretty copacetic land use that we felt the temporary permit fit within the spirit of quite well.

Veldman couldn’t say for certain if heavier activities like container storage would continue if the purchase went through.

Council heard from two resident delegations opposed to the TUP, one of whom submitted a petition of more than 100 signatures from other community members concerned about noise, lights, diesel activity and a 24-hour work schedule.

Resident Bruce Hansen pointed out the potential for negative impacts on a salmon-bearing creek running through the site.

“I find it very surprising and alarming that none of the correspondence with regards to this bylaw change mentions the impact to any spawning habitat,” he said.

Hansen served as a project manager for the community fisheries development centre in 1999 on a salmon habitat restoration project on Moresby creek with a letter of agreement from the City of Prince Rupert. The project was a joint venture between the city, the former property and Fishery Renewals BC who contributed more than $200,000 for construction of a fish ladder and wetlands remediation, Hansen said.

He told council there were several studies now confirming spawning habitat for salmon and trout as a result of the project.

He stressed the restoration project wasn’t meant to restrict development, but improve livability of the city through a communal effort to balance the health of the habitat with residential neighbourhoods. He urged council to reject any rezoning that will push that effort further out of reach.

“For a city that is trying to find some new residential properties to build on, I find it quite difficult to believe they would turn an existing residential property into an industrial area and completely disrupt the existing surrounding residential areas.”

Rejecting the TUP application, council advised PRPA to submit a full rezoning application with a detailed site plan, the process for which would be faster than having to rewrite existing TUP bylaws.

Veldman said the port was fully aware of the salmon-bearing creek, which would be considered in any development plans. Environmental rehabilitation and recreational development of the Moresby Creek Trail were possibilities if the land purchase was successful in the long term.

PRPA is now considering several short-term storage options, but is not yet committing to a full rezoning application.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A water quality advisory has been issued for the City of Rupert on Oct. 31. (File photo)
Water Quality Advisory issued for City of Prince Rupert

Heavy rainfall contributes to high turbidity levels

Prince Rupert Regional Airport Manager Rick Leach said on Oct. 29 that small community airports, like YPR, need a government cash infusion to survive COVID-19. (Northern View file photo)
Failure of Government and airlines leave regional and community airports on the brink of financial collapse

Govt. cash infusion is needed for smaller airports, like Prince Rupert, to survive COVID-19 - RCAC

Confirmed COVID-19 cases have affected the Prince Rupert community the week of Oct. 29 with a Shoppers Drug Mart employee and an S.D. 52 staff or student being infected with the virus. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID-19 infects Prince Rupert school district individual

S.D. 52 is prepared for COVID-19 and is working under Northern Health protocols - Sandy Pond

Masks are now compulsory at all Prince Rupert public facilities and the City reminds people to discard used masks in waste bins, a media release on Oct. 29 said. (Photo by K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Mandatory mask-wearing effective immediately at city public facilities

City of Prince Rupert makes masks compulsory to protect community health and safety

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Most Read