Chemainus skatepark OK'd for old school site

As expected, North Cowichan council approved a long-awaited skakepark for the old Chemainus elementary-school site Wednesday.

It also strongly nixed support for Pastula Farm's application to expand its rock quarry off pastoral Richards Trail.

The $350,000 professionally designed skatepark will see the former school razed, and the property replaced with home lots funding the skatepark, a dog park, landscaping, noise-busting berms, washrooms and more.

Councillors heard neighbours' protests about noise, crime and plunging propety values — and Len Larkin's idea to build a community park for skateboarders, bikes and scooters on four acres on Henry Road.

However, council was coaxed by pitches by park-tout Lynda Poirer, and KidSport Cowichan's Deb Savory Wright, to build the park on the school site offering access, surveillance, and high-use potential.

Meanwhile, Pastula's proposed pit, now holding a small quarry, got a reverse welcome from council.

Councillors heard fears about blasting, noise, water pollution, fire risks, dust, traffic and safety issues, then unanimously voted to send its concerns list to B.C. mines' chief inspector. He will decide on Catherine Pastula's permit application to haul out 100,000 cubic metres — 10,000 truck loads — of rock per year.

Staff's objection list, due Aug. 21, was to include a separate thumbs-down letter about the quarry from Mayor Jon Lefebure.

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