A truck stop planned for Foreman Road and Highway 16 East was the subject of stiff opposition during a public hearing before city council on Monday night, despite a zoning amendment intended to make the site safer.
In a presentation, city council was told the section of the property in question had already been zoned for the use prior to amalgamation with the city and is large enough to meet the legal requirements for the operation.
But at the city's suggestion, property owner Bruce Kidd agreed to expand the portion of the property zoned for the use so the entrance can be positioned further along Foreman Road and better handle traffic going in and out of the site.
Kidd told council he operates the Hart Highway Husky at the corner of Highway 97 North and Chief Lake Road and that a similar operation is planned for the site east of the city and noted the intersections are similar.
He said the new site will probably draw about half the amount of traffic the Hart Highway operation attracts. About 20 per cent of the traffic that pulls into the Hart Highway operation is truck and the rest a mixture of recreational vehicles and vehicles hauling boats and trailers.
Ashley Elliott of L&M Engineering added that the Hart Highway location tends to draw a lot of traffic going to and from Ness Lake and anticipates a similar clientele related to Purden Lake.
The rezoning application also includes room for a four-lot residential subdivision and a campground. Kidd said it will be a "stop-and-go" campground if that aspect of the plan is pursued.
Along with gas pumps and a convenience store, it will also hold a three-bay wash capable of handling large trucks and recreational vehicles.
Neighbours remained concerned and, over the course of about 90 minutes, reiterated concerns about safety, noise and lighting.
But with the site already zoned for the use and Kidd saying construction would begin this spring regardless of the outcome of the hearing, council members voted unanimously in favour.
Coun. Terri McConnachie said there are more reasons to approve the application than to deny.
Coun. Brian Skakun said he would probably had turned it down had it come before council with no prior designation at all but added the adjustments will probably address the concerns.
Mayor Lyn Hall