Rezoning approved for Harrison Mills water bottling plant

FVRD adopted the zoning amendment bylaw at last Board meeting

The clean and clear waters of Harrison Mills will soon be a bottled commodity.

The Fraser Valley Regional District Board adopted the zoning amendment bylaw at their last Board meeting January 27. The bylaw allows Christopher’s Springs, owned by Harrison Mills resident Chris Lepine, to build a small bottling plant on a portion of his property.

Summer Dhillon is an informal advocate for Harrison Mills. She has been working over the last few years to get a tourism board organized, including starting a website and working on signage for the community. Dhillon sees the plant as a “very positive” business for Harrison Mills.

“It will help for job creation. It’s forward thinking,” says Dhillon. “There’s great potential in what he (Lepine) wants to do.”

Area C director Alec Niemi agrees that the plant will be a good thing for the neighbourhood.

“We’re pleased to have the business in the community,” says Niemi.

He says while it will be a “small enterprise,” it will use a resource readily available in Harrison Mills.

“If we’ve got anything besides gravel here, it’s water.”

Niemi says there was no discussion on the matter at the FVRD as it was simply the adoption of the bylaw which already passed first, second and third reading in June and September, 2014.

There was certainly discussion at that time. Wendy Bales was the Area C director then and she says there was ample discussion in the FVRD and at a public hearing held on the matter.

While Bales is not opposed to industry in general, she is concerned with the location of the water bottling plant and the cumulative impact it could have in the long term.

“It’s a prime tourist area and a protected habitat,” says Bales.

She also worries about the precedent this zoning amendment bylaw sets. A question on the subject of precedent was raised at the public hearing. According to a staff report on August 28 from FVRD planner Carl Isaak, the staff response was that the approval of one application does not set a precedent.

“Each zoning application is considered by the FVRD on its own merits. The Official Community Plan for an area does set out policies and guides decision-making for rezoning applications. Water licences are also specific to a type of use and not all existing licenses would allow industrial bottling use of water, many are for domestic uses only.”

The property, located at 14400 Chehalis forest Service Road, has a spring that flows into Echo Creek, which flows into Elbow Creek then into the Harrison River. Lepine already draws water that he sells in bulk. The rezoning allows him to build a plant on the property with the plan to create jobs locally. While the licence allows them to extract 25,000 gallons per day, FVRD staff reports indicate the machinery being used is designed to process a maximum of 3,300 gallons per day.

Just Posted

Driver assaulted near Agassiz following road rage incident

RCMP ask for public’s help identifying suspects involved in Highway 9 incident

Man accused of killing Belgian tourist along Highway 1 appears in court

Sean McKenzie, 27, made second court appearance since his arrest in connection with the murder of Amelie Sakkalis

Dryness, nitrates possible explanations for Fraser Valley dairy farm fires

Farmers in Agassiz, Rosedale still unsure how fires started

Letter: Look for facts on proportional representation

In regards to the upcoming referendum on Proportional Representation, it should be… Continue reading

Harrison art exhibit features portraits of female strength, power

Ranger Station Art Gallery puts Angela Burdon’s portrait work on display

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

Chilliwack voters reject anti-SOGI school board candidates

Slate, including Barry Neufeld, had opposed anti-bullying LGBTQ teaching resource

MLA to become Nanaimo’s next mayor, could weaken NDP’s grasp on power

Leonard Krog’s win will trigger a byelection when he gives up his provincial seat

Horvat nets OT winner as Canucks beat Bruins 2-1

Young Vancouver star had spirited scrap earlier in contest

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

3 in serious condition after altercation on Granville strip: police

Patrol officers came upon the fight just after 3 a.m. on Granville Street near Helmcken Street

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Pedestrian rushed to Lower Mainland hospital after being hit by car

Friday night crash is latest in rash of collisions involving pedestrians in Surrey

Most Read