The District of Kent Council has approved a development permit to construct a Buddhist monastery east of Harrison Mills.
During the Oct. 12 council meeting, multiple residents attended had concerns during the public hearing for the development permit. The issues brought forth included noise concerns, traffic and strain on infrastructure. Residents also brought up using the land for the temple rather than housing, which could put more pressure on existing development and agricultural land resources.
Council said the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has conducted a traffic management study and officials believe there should be no issues when it comes to providing utilities.
In September, the Bilingual Buddhist Association approached the council about building a temple in the Mount Woodside area. This required rezoning the 9-hectare site to institutional assembly (it was previously rural residential) and a subsequent amendment to the Official Community Plan.
In other council business:
– Council listened to concerns from residents regarding the proposed planting of trees and shrubbery along the Haig Highway Walking Trail south of Agassiz. Residents listed several concerns, including obstructing the view of the mountains, the trees providing cover for criminal activities and the priority of the planting over trimming back blackberry bushes. Mayor Sylvia Pranger said that the project was in its pilot stages and would be reassessed in two years or less.
– Pranger declared October 2022 as “Foster Family Month” for the District of Kent. The goal of the month is to celebrate and honour caregivers and foster families that have helped children and youth experiencing hardship.
– Council has approved spending up to $91,875 for engineering services from ISL Engineering and Land Services as part of the Chaplain Road culvert replacement and habitat enhancement project.
– Council also approved spending $181,710 for Active Earth Engineering for an environmental monitoring program.
The District of Kent Council will meet again on Monday, Oct. 24, at Municipal Hall (7170 Cheam Avenue) in Agassiz. Those interested can also attend online via Microsoft Teams. Register online at kentbc.ca.