Council moves forward with transit facility 2

Council is moving forward on rezoning property near Foothills Boulevard and 18th Avenue for a proposed BC Transit maintenance facility.

It gave first two readings to the rezoning application Monday, meaning the rezoning will now go to a public hearing. It could be a long and vocal one as there has been plenty of opposition to the plan. An online petition opposing the facility has garnered 1,114 signatures.

“Fragmentation of green space through development of proposals such as the BC Transit facility at this site is a leading contributor to loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in urban interface areas,” reads the petition, in part.

BC Transit is proposing to build an operations and maintenance facility for its buses in Prince George.

One of the concerns is that the trail leading to Ginter’s Field will be affected by the development. Director of Planning Ian Wells said the trail will remain.

Council decided to move the project forward. Councillor Jillian Merrick was the only voice in opposition.

“The reality is, for me, I’ve never supported the city’s investment in this facility, regardless of where it goes,” said Merrick.

Citizens who have been opposing the facility have used the catchphrase “right facility, wrong location.”

Merrick said it simply isn’t the right facility.

“The location it’s in currently suffices,” she said. “There has not been enough data and research in that investment decision to merit building a whole new facility … It’s a ($22 million) project and yes many of our partners are providing the lion’s share of the funding, but I’ve not seen a shred of research that backs the necessity of this project.”

Mayor Lyn Hall said he would like to see more about the safety of the intersection change.

There will be a community meeting on the proposal prior to the actual public hearing.

About Bill Phillips

Bill Phillips is an award-winning journalist and columnist with more than 30 years experience. He was the winner of the 2009 Best Editorial award at the British Columbia/Yukon Community Newspaper Association’s Ma Murray awards, in 2007 he won the association’s Best Columnist award. In 2004, he placed third in the Canadian Community Newspaper best columnist category and, in 2003, placed second. He is the former editor of the Prince George Free Press.

  • Jo G

    “One of the concerns is that the trail leading to Ginter’s Field will be affected by the development. Director of Planning Ian Wells said the trail will remain.”

    To which I state that the lack of planning knowledge shown by Ian Wells and his department when he uses such words shows loud and clear.

    This is not a matter of whether the trail remains or not. It will be a matter of the visual impact of the industrial land use in the midst of a “forested” escarpment which has intrinsic values that Mr. Wells still does not understand.

    Ian Wells has shown over and over that he is driven by $ and only $.

    He has no concept of the three legged stool of planning – Social, Financial, Environmental.

    This project is measured only on financial. Even for that, As Councillor Merrick states, we have seen no justification report to date.

    • rigormortice

      I have to agree with Merrick and Jo G. There is not enough information out on this facility. Perhaps we can get enough information at the public meeting on May 11th.