Poor soil quality at the Chemainus River Campgrounds site is evident in this Madrone Environmental Services map. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Time granted to examine Chemainus River Campground situation more thoroughly

Firm deadline to cease operations removed while parties work on ALR exclusion

The Oct. 1 deadline has come and gone and the Chemainus River Campground is still in operation.

The campground is located on Agricultural Land Reserve property on the Trans-Canada Highway and owners Jeri and John Wyatt were ordered to cease business as a campground by that date by the Agricultural Land Commission or face a stiff penalty.

The Wyatts have received a reprieve of sorts, although nothing confirmed in writing yet, while the Municipality of North Cowichan, Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley and jurisdictions within the provincial government work behind the scenes to see if the property can be excluded from the ALR to continue as a campground rather than having to revert back to agricultural status that has been deemed impractical for many reasons.

While the Wyatts are relieved they didn’t have to shut the campground down and basically lose everything they had invested in the site, they won’t be breathing easier until a more definitive directive is received.

“It’s basically in North Cowichan’s hands,” said John Wyatt. “They’re putting in an application for us.

“All I know they’ve given us a reprieve for the time being. Everybody can kind of take a breather and hopefully with North Cowichan being firmly behind us they’ll get something through.

“We’re good. We’re not going to be adding or anything like that. We’re going to continue as normal for the time being.”

The Wyatts had originally made an application to expand the number of campsites, but when the ALC caught wind of it, the deadline was imposed to revert the ALR land back to agricultural use.

The topic came up at the recent Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver. North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring said Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham and even Premier John Horgan, a friend going back many years, are aware of the situation and promising another look.

Along with Routley, “we met with the minister at UBCM,” said Siebring.

“The province has committed to continuing dialogue with the Wyatts.”

An exclusion application was filed for the land by the municipality.

“It’s gone right up to the top echelons,” said Siebring. “I’m pretty confident the Wyatts aren’t going to get shut down anytime soon.”

Former MLA Bill Routley also went to bat for the Wyatts before the deadline to bring the matter to the attention of North Cowichan as a delegation at a council meeting.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Don’t feed the bears, BCCOS warns, after incidents in Cowichan

People have been spotted trying to feed bear near Youbou

Elizabeth May endorses Furstenau in BC Greens race

Former federal party leader backs Cowichan Valley MLA

Symphony pop-up concerts coming to Saltair

Only 40 tickets available so get them soon if you’re interested

Langford teens reunited with family after rescue near Chemainus

Friends spent night in missing truck, spotted by RCMP helicopter

Cowichan School District wins top trades training award

“The welding program provided an amazing head start on my career”

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

UPDATE: Vancouver Island skydiving community mourns loss of one of its own

James Smith, 34, of Victoria, dies in Nanoose Bay incident

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

RCMP seek man facing sexual assault charges

Police believe he may be living on central Vancouver Island but also has a history in the Cariboo region

Most Read