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LETTER: Council made a tough decision

Steelhead association thankful for denial of TUP

The Steelhead Community Association and its members would like to express our deep gratitude to Councillors Davies, Gill, Herar, and Plecas for listening to the community and voting down the proposed asphalt plant (TUP). We recognize that this was a difficult decision to make for everyone on council, and appreciate the well thought out questions, debate, and the massive amount of information that had to be studied. The Steelhead community is thankful that we had the opportunity to engage in the recent public input meeting.

READ: Council denies asphalt plant TUP

This process has brought our rural community together. The past six months have brought discussions about the future of this area to the forefront. At the moment, the Steelhead community does not have a Neighbourhood Plan within the Official Community Plan (OCP). This is a challenge, especially when development applications come in that could seriously impact the future of the community.

With several resource industrial properties extracting gravel in the area, the question arises: What happens when they run out of material and reach end-of-life?

We know that when gravel runs out, land reclamation to a higher and better use is meant to occur – a beautiful park, an attractive housing development, etc. In utilizing properties that have spent their gravel, or areas in the tree farm, there is a great opportunity for Mission to tap into the eco-tourism market.

So what is the vision for the future of the Steelhead area? Steelhead is Mission’s gateway to Stave West, Bear Mountain, Hayward Lake, Rolley Lake, and a hot spot for road bikes and people taking a cruise on Dewdney Trunk. Naturally, the area is a recreational playground for hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, boaters, kayakers, campers, and more.

The SCA strives to be stewards of our land. We feel expanding recreational opportunities rather than adding high impact, heavy industries such as an asphalt plant, is the best way forward, and a green alternative that aligns with the OCP. A rock-climbing center, ziplining park, kids play center, pump track park, indoor BMX park, mountain biking tours/rentals, horse trail rides, paddleboard/kayak rentals, snowshoeing and more. These are fantastic opportunities for the local economy. Look no further than Squamish for inspiration.

Families need local activities, and north Mission is an untapped gem. The District of Mission has a new tourism department. This is a perfect time for the district, the association and residents to collaborate. We plan to keep this ongoing discussion front and center. It’s too important to our future not to. One thing is for sure, Steelhead is Mission’s mountain gem, the place for eco-tourism, parks, and residential developments, not asphalt plants or other high-impact, heavy industries.

Candace Koch

Chair of the Steelhead Community Association

Mission City Record