Iron Mask Industrial Park moving forward after council approves rezoning

Iron Mask moves forward

A spokesperson for a company planning to develop a 190-acre parcel of land into an industrial park says he is looking forward to next steps after Kamloops council approved a rezoning application on Tuesday.

Randy Lambright, senior project consultant for Comet Industries, said the rezoning approval is a significant step forward for the company.

“It enables Comet to get to the next level, which is completing the terms of the rezoning — the subject-tos that council has brought forward — as well as proceeding on to subdivision and hopefully building permit,” he said.

On Tuesday evening, a public hearing was held for the rezoning application, which will allow the former mine site, located in the Iron Mask area between Sugarloaf Road and Bowers Place, to be used for light industrial work.

Council voted 8-0 in favour of approving a third reading for the zoning amendment. Coun. Mike O’Reilly recused himself from the discussion and the vote because he is the CEO of Comet Industries.

The third reading will be held pending an approval from the provincial ministry of transportation and infrastructure due to the site’s proximity to Highway 1 and Highway 5, and a release from the ministry of environment and climate change due to the impacts of historic mining activity on the property.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Coun. Kelly Hall said it’s evident the community needs more industrial land.

“When I look at a development like this, and see the potential that comes with this, it will definitely help increase capacity of industrial land, but also increase our tax base which is desperately needed as well. So I will be supporting this,” Hall said.

Lambright said the next steps of the project will involve environmental remediation efforts, as the site contains contaminated soil from the former mine operations.

He said Comet’s plan is to use a cap and cover method, which means a certain depth of soil is required to contain and cover contaminated soils — an acceptable method of remediation for the B.C. ministry of environment.

He noted there’s also “a significant amount of earthworks” also needed in order to prepare the site for construction and development.

In a news release, Comet Industries said the company looks forward to engaging with local contractors and suppliers to maximize economic benefits for the community.

The company indicated the project is on track to have available lots for lease or sale by 2024 or 2025, noting there has already been significant interest in the industrial park from local companies.

Lambright said the need for light industrial land in Kamloops has been clearly identified by Comet Industries and within previous iterations of the city’s own official community plan.

“There will continue to be a need for industrial land, but from Comet’s perspective, they'll hopefully have met some of that need over the next five to seven years,” he said.

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