Burnaby city council could go back to the drawing board over location of green waste facility
A special Burnaby council meeting will be held at noon on Monday, March 20, to reconsider the alternative approval process to undedicate 21-acres of parkland at Fraser Foreshore Park in order to build the Green Recycling and Organics (GRO) facility.
A trail at Fraser Foreshore Park. Twenty-one acres of the park are being eyed to build the Green Recycling and Organics facility. (Simran Singh/ Burnaby Beacon)
A special Burnaby council meeting will be held at noon on Monday, March 20, to reconsider the alternative approval process (AAP) to undedicate 21-acres of parkland at Fraser Foreshore Park in order to build the Green Recycling and Organics (GRO) facility.
The controversial AAP process was launched earlier this month, allowing citizens who oppose the undedication bylaw of the parkland to send in an elector response form (which can only be sent in via mail or hand delivered to city hall), in order to vote against the decision.
If the city receives less than 16,250 submissions voting against the project (10% of the city’s electorate) by April 28, then council could proceed with the project. Those who approve of the undedication are not required to vote.
According to a release from the City of Burnaby on Thursday afternoon, the reconsideration of the AAP process was initiated by Mayor Mike Hurley, who provided the following statement:
“We’ve been listening to the public, and it’s clear from what they’ve told us that they don’t support the trade-offs that the GRO project would require in its current form. Council has heard loud and clear that while this may be the right project, it is not the right location.
We know that we need to treat climate action like the emergency that it is, and we need to make difficult and bold decisions. Bold moves mean there will always be trade-offs, but they need to be trade-offs our community can support.
We appreciate the people who have engaged with us in a thoughtful and respectful manner on this issue. I am hopeful that City Council will be unanimous in this reconsideration motion so we can cancel this AAP process.
It’s time for us to let staff get back to work so we can work together to find a better location for this project or to find other innovative solutions to address Burnaby’s urgent climate action needs.”
This reconsideration is specified under section 131 of the Community Charter, in which a mayor can require council to reconsider a matter that was subject of a vote, and hold another vote on the matter within 30 days of that decision.
If the majority of council votes in favour of the reconsideration council will then have to revote on the February 27 decision that established the AAP process for the removal of parkland at Fraser Foreshore Park.
If that revote of the February 27 decision results in opposition from the majority of city council, the AAP will be cancelled.
The meeting will be open for members of the public to attend in person at city hall and will also be live streamed.
The AAP process for GRO has been a controversial issue in the city over the past weeks, as residents and parkgoers have voiced concerns about the environmental impacts of removing parkland to build the facility.