Gravel gripe

Char­lot­te­town Mayor Clif­ford Lee says noth­ing city can do about com­plaints over late-night gravel work on wa­ter­front

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVE STE­WART

The Char­lot­te­town coun­cil­lor re­spon­si­ble for the wa­ter­front says some­thing has to be done about late-night gravel noise at Port Char­lot­te­town.

Ed­die Rice says he’s heard con­cerns from res­i­dents about trucks load­ing gravel in the mid­dle of the night on Satur­day.

The gravel is be­ing trans­ported to the Char­lot­te­town Air­port, part of a new run­way ex­pan­sion project.

“They’re bring­ing it in and they’re start­ing at 4 a.m.,’’ Rice said Wednes­day.

“Yes, we’re aware of it. I’ve no­ti­fied the mayor and I’ve sent the mayor an email ask­ing him to join me in a meet­ing. We’ve got to come to some res­o­lu­tion.’’

Rice said it’s a mat­ter coun­cil will have to dis­cuss and one that the city’s by­law en­force­ment of­fi­cer con­sid­ers.

Mayor Clif­ford Lee said the city re­ceived one com­plaint, from the own­ers of a bed and break­fast on Water Street, but there is noth­ing the city can do.

“The prob­lem is that you have an in­dus­trial work­ing port on one piece of land and on the other piece of land you have a bed and break­fast,’’ Lee said.

“Ob­vi­ously, not the best of neigh­bours. The uses tend to con­flict. I’m not go­ing to sug­ar­coat it and pre­tend there is some­thing the city cor­po­ra­tion can do be­cause there’s not. The bot­tom line is the land the har­bour au­thor­ity oc­cu­pies is zoned in­dus­trial, and that al­lows for this use.’’

The Guardian ap­proached the own­ers of the bed and break­fast on Wednes­day, but they de­clined an in­ter­view.

The Guardian did speak with a few other res­i­dents on Water Street. Most seemed to take the is­sue in stride.

How­ever, one man said go­ing all night is a prob­lem.

“If they only went to mid­night, it wouldn’t be so bad,’’ said the man, who didn’t want his name used. “When they’re haul­ing it off the boat you don’t hear any­thing, but it’s when the (bed) slams into the truck,

that’s when it gets an­noy­ing.’’

One woman said it comes with a work­ing port.

“Can’t do any­thing about it, so why worry about it,’’ she said.

The Char­lot­te­town Port Au­thor­ity said Satur­day’s work in­volved haul­ing about 60,000 met­ric tonnes of gravel.

Cor­ryn Cle­mence, busi­ness devel­op­ment man­ager with the port, said night work takes place at the wharf six to 12 times a year.

“At the very most, maybe 12 nights a year. I mean, that’s a worst-case sce­nario,’’ Cle­mence said.

Lee said the op­er­a­tor of the bed and break­fast told him the busi­ness uses a park­ing lot that is owned by the har­bour au­thor­ity and that the har­bour au­thor­ity doesn’t charge them any­thing for it.

“It would sug­gest to me that there is a re­la­tion­ship be­tween the port and the op­er­a­tor of the B&B. It might be more pro­duc­tive to try and re­solve the con­cerns (by the two meet­ing).’’

Lee also noted that the city can’t use the nui­sance by­law to stop trucks from haul­ing gravel. Stor­ing the gravel is al­ready an al­low­able use for the site in the zon­ing and devel­op­ment by­law.

“My un­der­stand­ing from ad­min­is­tra­tion is that you can’t use one by­law to cir­cum­vent an­other one,’’ Lee said. “Say­ing now we’re go­ing to ap­ply fur­ther re­stric­tions . . . you can’t make one by­law to make an­other by­law null and void.’’

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