CVRD legal opinion nixes temporary use permit for Cowichan farm

A temporary use permit to process gravel at Balme Ayr Farm will not be issued, the Cowichan Valley Regional District board decided at a special meeting Wednesday afternoon, but the reason has nothing to do with directors’ opposition to the idea.

A final decision on the permit application was put off after tempers flared at an electoral area services committee meeting and concerned CVRD staff sought a legal opinion on the validity of a vote taken there that would have quashed the permit.

Interim CVRD Chief Administrative Officer Frank Raimondo revealed the results of the legal consultation to a full public gallery Wednesday.

The CVRD’s lawyers found no serious procedural errors, Raimondo said, in spite of a dialogue that got "discourteous" and "rude", and the committee had the right to reject the application. The principles of natural justice, he reported, do not apply in such a case.

However, Raimondo, continued, the CVRD’s lawyers did find a more far-reaching flaw, stating that a temporary use permit cannot be issued per the CVRD’s official community plan.

Thus this is not the end of the topic of TUPs, Raimondo said, as the regional district has inadvertantly issued several temporary use permits in error.

In light of this news, the board voted unanimously to return Balme Ayr Farm’s application and application fee.

Director Lori Iannidinardo questioned how much the legal opinion had cost taxpayers. Raimondo said he would let her know when a bill has been received.

"All things considered, I think it was money well spent," said Area E Director Loren Duncan.

Members of the public were not so magnanimous.

A neighbouring farmer questioned how CVRD staff could have proceeded for over a year, saying that the district could issue a TUP, when it wasn’t true.

"This is something that cannot happen on this property or any other agricultural zoned property," he said. "It’s ludicrous to think that we’ve gone through all of this."

"How can they not review this specifically with legal staff until over a year has passed, the stress and strain on many, many people, taxpayers wasted so much time and people like Gerry Giles, Lori [Iannidinardo] having meetings and discussions, going out to a property that doesn’t qualify from day one? Why are we even talking about an application that is inappropriate and illegal? Why didn’t you just turn it away at the door?" he asked.

Dara Quast echoed his frustration, questioning how it is that members of the public, who have been asserting that a TUP isn’t legal under the circumstances for some time, could correctly interpret the bylaws and staff didn’t.

Raimondo said these are all good questions and staff will be doing a review.

Just Posted

Sierra Acton, regional district director for Shawnigan Lake. (file photo)
New parkland in Shawnigan creating connections

Used to created parking for the popular Masons Beach Park

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Chris Wilkinson
Chris Wilkinson column: This could be the worst thing done to you during the pandemic

As a result, all of us will contend with more ‘scarcity’ thinking and mindset.

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

Most Read