On June 14 the Cowichan Valley Regional District defeated two bylaws that, if passed, would have legalized seasonal residential camping at 15 properties on Nantree and Peri roads in Meade Creek.
Directors Klaus Kuhn, Ian Morrison, Mary Marcotte and alternate director Blaise Salmon voted in opposition to the first of the two bylaws — a Youbou/Meade Creek Official Community Plan amendment — while directors Kuhn, Morrison, Marcotte, alternate Salmon and interim director Sierra Acton voted in opposition to the second of the pair, an Official Zoning Amendment.
Morrison, the director for Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls said he based his decisions on the information received by Youbou/Meade Creek director Kuhn.
“I relied to some extent, on the area director’s assessment of the read of his community and the read was it’s a residential-zoned area, it’s not a suitable recreation zone and the change that was proposed was fairly solidly opposed by the majority of people in his community,” Morrison said.
“That was a challenging file in that regardless of which way the vote went there was going to be a group that was going to be upset.”
A group of landowners had been looking to legitimize a practice that’s been going on in the area for years — setting up their RVs and campsites on their residential properties to enjoy a summer alongside Lake Cowichan.
It sounds like a fantastic way to spend the season but the problem is it’s not always legal and neighbours aren’t always in favour of the seasonal influx. Neighbours like Cowichan Lake’s Michael Loseth.
“Because today it is Lake Cowichan, tomorrow it will be Mesachie Lake, Shawnigan Lake, then Cobble Hill, Cowichan Bay, and so on,” he wrote in a letter to the Lake Cowichan Gazette. “We live in a beautiful part of the world — but camping must be restricted to campsites — not next door to where you or I live.”
Ladysmith’s Chris Fritsch is among a group of property owners who had been asking for the rezoning. He said the practice has been going on for 50 years and they were just “trying to get on a legal footing.”
He explained many of the lots involved in his particular rezoning application were on a floodplain so building a permanent house would be difficult and costly.