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Loggers Lane quarry and lake proposed

Squamish could have a new swimming hole if a proposal to build a gravel quarry near Loggers Lane moves ahead.

Squamish could have a new swimming hole if a proposal to build a gravel quarry near Loggers Lane moves ahead. But some residents are concerned the plan could rock the water table local homes depend on for well water and put neighbourhood children at risk.Peter Legere and Ross Croghan have applied to the Integrated Land Management Bureau for an Investigative Permit to look into the potential of building the quarry on Crown land. The pit could potentially provide up to one million tones of gravel, Legere said. After a number of years of use, he said the pit could collect water and morph into a recreational lake slightly smaller than Cat Lake. "We think that there's a possibility of embracing the environment and making a community asset in the end and making a few bucks in the meantime," Legere said of the project.But some residents feel mining would be inappropriate for the site since it neighbours a newly-zoned high-density residential site projected to hold about 185 single-family homes. "To have this kind of development is completely unacceptable," said Squamish River Watershed Society member Edith Tobe. "It's just not the practice of this community to have industry next to residential."In the draft Official Community Plan the site is zoned for Limited Use, which encompasses, "long-term raw material extraction and processing areas." It is also identified as a site suitable for gravel and sand extraction.The site directly south of it, which hugs Loggers Lane and Raven Drive, was rezoned from Resource to Comprehensive Development last fall. Raven Drive resident Todd Kion said the quarry would lead to a dangerous combination of horseback riding and heavy truck activity."We all board horses, we all have kids running up and down the street," he said.Nearby resident Sandra Haffey echoed his concern."Dump trucks and children on horseback is a disaster waiting to happen - someone is surely to get injured or even worse killed," she said.Haffey also said the quarry could have a negative impact on the Squamish Valley Rod and Gun Club."The [area] that Legere and Croghan wish to excavate is a natural pristine forest noise buffer between the community of the Squamish Valley Rod and Gun Club and the neighborhood of Raven, Finch and Robin Drives and the surrounding areas," she said. "Removing this noise buffer would certainly be the end of the Rod and Gun Club."Legere said the quarry could be mined before the neighbourhood is developed with the gravel possibly being used as part of construction materials. He said the resulting lake would benefit residents."Having a lake next door would certainly increase the value of anything up there," he said.If the quarry was active while the neighbourhood was filled, Legere doubted it would pose any risk to safety."Is the highway construction posing a hazard to those living on the highway?" he asked. "You might hear some machines running."There are also concerns the lake would lower the town's groundwater table and undo efforts to create channels for the Mamquam Reunion project, which has been supported by the District of Squamish and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Harming these trails could in turn threaten fish species such as Coho and pink salmon, said Tobe."I can't help but emphasize the lowering of the water table," she said. "I don't think that there is enough water in there to provide habitat for a lake."Legere said the work would not go ahead if it proved to have any negative impact on fish habitat."We're not going to do anything that would harm the environment," he said.Kion is not convinced. "It's just going to turn into a real disaster and environmental mess," he said. "It's just the wrong area."Tobe has sent her comments on the project to the Integrated Land Management Bureau.The bureau is accepting responses until June 28 as the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands considers the application.

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