Prince Rupert Port Authority draft land use plan shows potential for major expansion

On June 1 the Prince Rupert Port Authority released its draft 2020 Land Use Management Plan, and it is a document that outlines some significant opportunities for growth in the waters around Prince Rupert.

On June 1 the Prince Rupert Port Authority released its draft 2020 Land Use Management Plan, and it is a document that outlines some significant opportunities for growth in the waters around Prince Rupert.

One of the ideas discussed in the 43-page draft document, which is available at www.rupertport.com, is the expansion of the Ridley Industrial site and the possibility of expanding beyond the current Ridley Island area.

“The longer term possibility of bridging Lelu Island with Ridley or the mainland would allow the development of Lelu Island…For the medium term the PRPA does not envisage any development for Lelu Island, but long term opportunities suggest use of this island for bulk commodity terminals and general industrial uses. More detailed site analysis, planning and infrastructure analysis will occur prior to any development considerations,” reads the draft, which also looks at potential usage of the south end of Ridley Island and islands just off the Ridley coast but says there are no plans to develop Kitson Island.

“The PRPA will retain the option to consider long term development of the outer islands, but will not advance any development without additional planning consideration that reflects navigation, construction of an approach trestle or causeway, environmental characteristics and the impact on operations of other uses already established on Ridley Island…With the relative distance of the outer islands to developed areas in Prince Rupert and Port Edward, the use of the outer Risley Islands for potential liquid bulk products is deemed to offer the best value for the Port.”

Other plans for Ridley Island include “large bulk commodity terminals to the central and wester area” and “more intensive and smaller industrial enterprises” at the eastern edge. Among the considerations, in addition to a rail loop and storage line around the island, are marinas, a logistic park on the edge of Kaien Island, automobile transfer and storage, additional bulk terminals, pipe yards and short sea shipping.

Closer to Prince Rupert, the Port Authority is looking at options to redevelop old facilities, like a bulk facility at the old Westview dock, increasing the number of anchorages for waiting freighters to eight, and long term potential for marina and ship facilities at the Lightering Dock.

“With limited upland land areas for future development, the Inner Harbour will be considered primarily for commodity shipments and ancillary uses not dependent on large backup areas,” reads the report, noting that development will also be contingent upon “the long term extent of rail trackage within the inner harbour upland area”.

The report also says the Port Authority will be keeping a keen eye on possible access to Digby Island and the Tsimshian Peninsula.

“The PRPA is to remain vigilant with respect to any long term road access to Digby Island and the north shore of the harbour. This has implications for existing and future Fairview Terminal operations (given the proximity of the terminal area t a potential bridge crossing) but any such crossing may offer substantial benefits for long term industrial use (e.g oil and gas exploration activity),” it reads.

“Similarly, the creation of an access route could create potential for the long term port related industrial development on the north shore of the harbour, which currently does not have road access.”

Residents will have their opportunity to provide feedback on the draft 2020 Land Use Management Plan during a session at the Crest Hotel on June 15 from five p.m. To eight p.m.