Pastula property prompts review

North Cowichan is going to try to find a consistent way to deal with bylaw enforcement.

Councillors voted Jan. 21 to draft a policy covering "process, expectations and outcomes" related to compliance with and enforcement of bylaws so it is "applied equally to all property owners in the municipality."

This move followed a discussion of a staff report to council about situations at the Richards Trail property owned by Gordon and Catherine Pastula.

Council directed staff to write a letter to the couple requesting that they relocate or realign their driveway and that they clean up and improve the visual appearance of their property in the next six months or face further action.

Despite deciding to write the letters, councillors were warned by their colleague Al Siebring to proceed carefully.

The issue came to council at least in part because of a complaint, at a time when neighbours of the farm are unhappy with the Pastulas’ application to remove gravel from their property.

Coun. Joyce Behnsen expressed surprise that they were being asked to deal with an unsightly property, saying that there were many such in the municipality and Siebring agreed.

"I think the way to deal with this should not be to bring down the hammer," said Siebring. "I would urge a tremendous amount of caution. There are properties in this municipality that are worse than this."

North Cowichan CAO Dave Devana said his staff had simply been asked at a previous meeting to provide a report on bylaw compliance issues and were also following up the complaint.

"This is not draconian," he said. "These are fairly common requests. But, we’ve been talking about bylaw enforcement for four and a half years."

Siebring persisted. "I don’t like the implications," he said.

"If complaints led to this, it doesn’t sit well with me," said Coun. Maeve Maguire. "This is where I feel it’s heavy handed."

She suggested dealing with a report on bylaw enforcement and then writing to the property owners.

Devana said that since the municipality has received a complaint, "we’d write the letter regardless."

Just Posted

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson column: A shift in perspective can sometimes change everything

Have you even been forced to wake up at 5:30 on a Saturday

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

North Cowichan’s committee of the whole have rejected staff’s recommendation to limit the use of fireworks to Halloween. (File photo)
North Cowichan rejects limiting fireworks to Halloween

Municipality decides staff recommendation would be unpopular

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

CVRD Area E director Alison Nicholson, right, hiked two hours to Waterfall Camp at the Fairy Creek watershed along with Comox town councillor Nicole Minion and Comox Valley Regional District director Daniel Arbour to meet with old-growth logging activists on Monday, June 7. (Submitted)
Cowichan Valley regional director visits Fairy Creek protest camps

‘They clearly communicated that they are committed to what they are doing’

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

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

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Most Read