At its regular monthly meeting Monday night, council heard that any vote on the project's approval would be delayed until after the city officially adopts its new Integrated Municipal Sustainability Plan (IMSP) and Development Regulations. Following that, Thomas Resources will then have to reapply for permission to carry out its proposed project.
A discrepancy in the development regulations governing the watershed area was identified through a legal review process undertaken by the city in its consideration of Thomas Resources’ proposal to conduct core drilling of 21 holes at nine locations around the watershed.
The company’s controversial exploration project is aimed at an eventual garnet and kyanite quarry operation.
In 2002, according to a release from the city, staff realized that Corner Brook’s water supply area was governed by two conflicting sets of regulations — one inside the city’s planning boundary and one outside.
As a result, the city made a request to the minister of Municipal Affairs to expand its municipal planning area boundary to include the natural drainage area for Corner Brook Stream.
The request was granted, but the new regulations won’t take effect until the new IMSP has been made into law by the provincial government.
The plan is currently in the commisioner’s hearing phase, and is expected to be adopted by late spring or early summer.
Monday night, city staff said it would be “in the best interest of both the public and the proponent to consider the proposal in the context of the new Development Regulations.”
The application will be subject to a minimum 14-day public consultation period, following which city council would vote on whether to approve the application.
Coun. Gary Kelly encouraged the public to continue to provide the city with feedback on the issue.