Public hearing for Esquimalt sewage plant set for Feb. 18

Esquimalt council is moving forward with the latest application to build a wastewater treatment plant at McLoughlin Point by holding a public hearing at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre.

Council unanimously approved moving the Capital Regional District application to public hearing at a standing-room only meeting at Esquimalt municipal hall Monday night, said Coun. Lynda Hundleby.

Dozens of residents from Esquimalt and other core area municipalities came to address council on the design of the sewage treatment facility, part of the CRD's $783-million Seaterra program.

"The same thing will go for public hearing – it's not restricted to Esquimalt residents," Hundleby said. "This is a regional project and members of the public anywhere in the region should have the right to speak to it."

Hundreds of people attended a similar public hearing last July at the Archie Browning Sports Centre before that application was punted back to the CRD for revision.

The CRD's current application now includes design incentives such as setbacks to accommodate a harbour pathway, cycling infrastructure and an annual mitigation fee for hosting the region's sewage treatment facility.

In a council meeting that ran more than four hours, many Greater Victoria residents expressed support for the consultation approach taken by Esquimalt, Hundleby said.

At the meeting, CRD staff also agreed to host a public open house, prior to Esquimalt's public hearing, to present its updated design plans and answer questions.

The public hearing takes place Feb. 18 at the Jubilee Hall, Esquimalt Rec Centre (527 Fraser St.), 7 p.m.

A second evening of public hearings is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 19 if required.

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