Firefighters scrub away at the fundraising car wash at Bow Mel in Duncan. (Citizen file)

Editorial: Duncan relents on dealerships at 11th hour

We don’t hear much about communities urging businesses to leave town.

We hear a lot about communities offering incentives for various businesses to locate within their boundaries.

We don’t hear much about communities urging businesses to leave town.

But until Monday night the City of Duncan was saying no thanks to car dealerships — even the ones currently at home in the city.

An 11th hour amendment just before third reading of a new package of zoning bylaws has now reversed what was egregiously shoddy treatment of a longtime city business, and one new one that’s just opened its doors.

In the case of Bow-Mel Chrysler, the dealership has called the city home for 50 years. But it seemed the City of Duncan was going to be happy to say goodbye altogether before the amendment.

The new bylaws are significantly simplifying the hodgepodge of zones that exist within the city. So far so good. But council had decided they would prefer the land currently occupied by Bow-Mel and the virtually brand new Nissan dealership to become higher density developments.

What they had done was say that the dealerships could continue to operate on their land for now, but if anything catastrophic happened to the buildings, such as a fire, they could not rebuild. They would also have been barred from doing any major renovations to the buildings without going through a board of variance, which could well have turned them down.

It’s all well and good to decide that the city doesn’t want new car dealerships to locate in its heart (though in that case why Nissan was allowed to open is baffling). We would even agree that higher density housing and mixed commercial-residential is the way to move forward in the area. But the car dealership that’s been there for decades deserved better, and we’re glad they’ve now gotten it. But it should be investigated how this got this far without alarm bells going off.

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

Just Posted

39 caught speeding through Cowichan school zones

On June 1, North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP conducted speed enforcement in several school zones

Lake Cowichan firefighters douse blaze at Mayo Road

Sahtlam called in for mutual aid in abandoned shop and motorhome

Caps send Luciano Wilson to Penticton Vees

Hometown hero led Cowichan in scoring last season

Considerations made to keep Crofton drive-by birthday celebrations going

Trucks will tone it down or not use horns at all to bring some joy to kids and older folks

$10,000 stolen bikes recovered after Maple Bay break-in

Police track high-end bikes to storage locker

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit arrived as whale broke free from prawn trap line

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Most Read