Central Saanich to seek road use pact between reisdents, business owner

District met with stakeholders recently over Hovey Road conflict.

Central Saanich councillors have asked municipal staff to look into a traffic agreement with the operators of a business on a property on the neighbouring Tsartlip First Nation.

A recent District council meeting heard a lengthy discussion on the continued use of Hovey Road by large commercial trucks. The road is narrow, rural and has homes on one side and the First Nation on the other. A stakeholder meeting was set for Friday, Feb. 26 with representatives from the Central Saanich neighbourhood, members of the Tsartlip First Nation, V.I. Pallet and Recovery Logistics Inc. and District staff to discuss the issue further.

The main issue has been safety on Hovey and Tomlinson roads as large trucks travel back and forth from V.I. Pallet.

“There is no question this [is] a frustrating issue,” said Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor.

The District is considering an extraordinary traffic agreement with the operator (V.I. Pallet).

Council has asked staff to see if there could be limitations placed on road use. What that would look like is unknown, Windsor said, adding there could be any number of conditions in such an agreement.

The District will also ask the Central Saanich Police Service if there are any eminent safety concerns.

While many residents voiced their concerns over the use of the road by large tractor-trailer trucks, they also voiced their concern on the company itself, claiming it was operating without a business license.

One individual by the name of John Cooper Jr. said he doesn’t want the company there at all.

“I want it cleaned up and I want it out of there,” he said at last week’s meeting.

Windsor told the PNR that from the District’s perspective, it’s simply a transportation issue.

Kevin Grey, owner of V.I. Pallet Recovery and Logistics Inc., said when it comes to the trucks, all are driven by professionals. He suggested the trucks are five per cent of the vehicle traffic on the road.

When asked about operating without a business license, Grey said he doesn’t require one on the current property which is located on Tsartlip land. He stated he asked the municipality and was told he would need an inter-municipal license and so made the application. That license, he said, has been on hold until the issue is resolved.

“I’m operating under the legal conditions of the property that I am leasing,” he told the PNR.

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