A long-running dispute between the City of Prince George and a local gravel miner remains before the court with what appears to be one last loose end getting closer to being tied up.
Counsel for the city filed a notice of application on April 23 seeking an order to dismiss an action levelled by Rock’n’Roll Aggregates Ltd. and Rolling Mix Concrete (B.C.) Ltd. related to the shutdown and additional costs to resume the operation after a stop work order was issued in October 2020.
City bylaw officials has issued the order after finding the operation, located southwest of the intersection of North Nechako Road and Foothills Boulevard, had encroached on a 100-metre setback from land zoned for residential use as set out under the city’s soil removal bylaw.
The two companies, both owned by John Paolucci, took the issue to court in February 2021, arguing in a notice of claim that the operation is subject to the B.C. Mines Act and not the city’s soil removal bylaw.
In a statement issued in December 2021, the city conceded the point and added it had reached an out-of-court settlement on the matter.
But three days later, a revised notice of claim was filed on behalf of Rock’n’Roll and Rolling Mix claiming they had suffered damages related to the shutdown and face additional costs to resume the operation.
According to an affidavit filed in March 2022, Rock’n’Roll and Rolling Mix suffered a loss of more than $500,000 related to site clearing and the cost of securing material from a different and more costly source.
Moreover, documents indicate that the plaintiffs are now seeking significantly less than the $6 million they would have pushed for if the city had maintained authority over the works.
In its latest filing, the city asserts in part that the plaintiffs “have not pleaded any specific causes of action or basis in law to support their claim of liability for the ‘Additional Damages.”
The city’s application is to be presented to the presiding judge in July.