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Cumberland considers leachate pond rezoning

Regional district wants to add a secondary pond to handle overflow
The regional district wants to add a second leachate pond at the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre in Cumberland. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Cumberland’s council is considering a rezoning to permit the construction of another leachate facility at the region’s waste management site.

The new system would be a secondary one for the current leachate facility at the landfill. The new pond would be built north of the existing landfill on Bevan Road.

The Comox Valley Regional District made the application to rezone part of the landfill site from Industrial Greenways Reserve and Heavy Industrial to Refuse Industrial to facilitate the leachate pond. This matches the zoning of the current landfill.

“The CVRD expanded their property not so long ago to acquire this piece of land,” senior planner Karin Albert told council. “The purpose of this pond is to act as an overflow.”

This would be especially important during periods of excessive precipitation that may stretch the main pond beyond its capacity.

“It’s to level out the big swings that happen during heavy rain,” she said.

RELATED STORY: More rain may mean more leachate at landfill in Cumberland

The rezoning includes a plan for a six-metre-wide statutory right of way for a multi-use trail running parallel to Bevan Road. As well, the CVRD is to pursue establishing the multi-use trail corridor along the rest of the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre property. The project, Albert said, fits in with the CVRD’s Regional Growth Strategy, Cumberland’s official community plan and the plans for the Bevan Road development.

There are no plans to use the land for landfill. The rezoning, which would not increase the footprint of the landfill, allows for the leachate treatment for processing fluid from waste.

“It essentially permits the leachate pond,” Albert said.

Members of the council had questions about buffering on the site, especially using trees. Coun. Jesse Ketler asked about trees on the north side of the property, especially with some being removed at the site.

Albert said there will be a separate environment permit that will come back to council, but she did touch on the issue of vegetation.

“The land is actually regenerating,” she said. “There’s quite a few small fir coming in.”

Council passed the motion to approve the first two readings of the rezoning bylaw and for staff to work with the regional district on the multi-use trail.

At the same meeting, council was presented with a report on a development permit being drafted for the same project. This would allow for the construction of another landfill cell and the secondary leachate pond. The report was being presented for information only.

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