Hatchery granted lease agreement
Gulf Islands Driftwood, Tuesday, June 10, 2003
By Gail Sjuberg
Approval for a 20-year lease of land between
Sablefin Hatcheries Ltd. and Walker Hook property owner Henry
Caldwell has been granted by the Ministry of Transportation
(MOT). Rob Howat, MOT subdivision approving officer for Vancouver
Island and the Gulf Islands, said he issued preliminary layout
approval for the subdivision on May 28. As Howat explained
at a March 28 public meeting on Salt Spring, he is not obligated
to disclose reasons for his decision.
Howat has the authority to not approve subdivision
applications if he deems they are contrary to the public interest.
Islanders opposed to the project who spoke at the meeting
cited road safety issues, its location in a residential neighbourhood
and that it contradicted official community plan provisions
governing environmentally sensitive sites.
Because the land is in the Agricultural Land
Reserve, subdivision approval is required for leases longer
than three years' duration. The hatchery development will
also surface at the June 11 meeting of the Capital Regional
District (CRD) board, when members vote on an environment
committee recommendation related to the company's waste management
permit application. It suggests the board recommend to the
permit-issuing Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection
that, prior to issuance of its approval, Sablefin retain a
qualified professional to conduct an environmental impact
assessment which should be released for review and comment.
Periodic monitoring of the discharge water quality and the
Walker Hook area receiving waters is also recommended. The
CRD was asked by MWLAP to comment on the waste management