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Central Saanich won’t be dumping ground

Councillor Ron Kubek says Central Saanich is becoming the dumping ground for other municipalities.

The district asked the Capital Regional District Board to adopt a regional strategy that requires municipalities to have a fill removal disposition plan for any new development they approve. If fill is to be moved from one district and located to another, then the district approving the project would seek the approval of the municipality where fill is being removed and where fill is being dumped on by the developer.

Kubek said the current practice of municipalities such as Saanich and Victoria approving large developments means that the fill is being relocated to Central Saanich, frequently ending up on farmland.

“I have pictures that were provided to me by staff,” said Kubek, showing the photos to council. “This is an illegal dumping operation going on over on Mallard Avenue, this is one of the ones that was approved by the ALC (Agricultural Land Commission) … there’s currently five ALC approved dumpsites in Central Saanich, there are approximately five to seven other illegal dump sites in Central Saanich. As we know in other properties, the ALC has not followed up to see what’s going on. Routinely we see other trucks coming, even from our neighbouring municipalities, bringing their fill and dumping it here.”

Kubek told council one landowner with a legal fill operation turned down a request to dump 2,000 dump truck loads of fill. Where the fill eventually ended up is not known.

“What we have is Saanich, Victoria … other jurisdictions that approve these large, grandiose developments downtown … they then say, ‘we’ve got to get rid of the fill,’ as we see Uptown One has gone onto Old East Road, we see the problem that we have with truck traffic. We see the problem, the cost, to the municipality that we have to spend money — just under $100,000 dealing with the road issues, dealing with the residents’ concerns and yet the other municipalities make one million, two million, three million in new tax revenue and the District of Central Saanich gets stuck with the bill,” said Kubek.

“It would be helpful to send this to other municipalities within the CRD so that they can also be aware of this coming to the CRD board and that it’s an issue. (We) need to draw a line in the sand and ask that they support this,” suggested councillor Adam Olsen. “I understand that farmers do need a certain amount of fill for certain projects, but it’s just not a wholesale dumping ground.”

“Central Saanich is not a dumping ground for the rest of the construction sites and development sites of the CRD. I believe that any soil that moves around through the municipality should be approved and tested and the receiving municipality should authorize the reception of it. We need to make sure the CRD gets a clear message that we are not a dumping ground,” said councillor Terry Siklenka.

“When we look at the logo and it says ‘Central Saanich land of plenty’, well it’s plenty of land for all the other municipalities to dump all their garbage soil,” said Kubek hotly. “The CRD wants to worry about what we’re doing, but I think the CRD needs to worry about what they are doing. They talk about how they want farmland at the CRD, well yeah, they want farmland so they can dump their fill.

“I think we need to take this to the CRD and they need to be cognizant of the fact that if they’re going to approve a new development — where is the fill going?”

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