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.

Just Posted

Cowichan peewee girls win home tournament

Capitals face toughest test so far against Tri-Port

Lake Flashback: Firefighters parade, water meters roll out, and Lakers protest hockey goons

Hockey at the Lake used to be exciting, but in 1979 the action got a bit over the top

Have you seen missing Duncan teen Cera Qwulshemut?

15-year-old First Nations girl missing from in front of Shoppers Drug Mart

VIDEO: Water treatment delays becoming ridiculous, Peters says

Lake Cowichan has been kept waiting long enough: it’s time to finish the job: Peters

Cowichan Lake Elder Care Society hosting fundraiser

Buy a burger and a beer, get a seniors care facility

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

Campbell River homicide suspects arrested in Vancouver

Two men remain in custody, but have not been charged

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

With $4M investment, Camosun College offers first sonography program on Vancouver Island

Starting in May 2020 students from Vancouver Island can pursue a career in sonography

Scooter rider suffers life-threatening injuries in crash in Nanaimo

One person airlifted to hospital in Victoria after collision on Wall Street on Thursday

Elizabeth May confirms plan to eliminate fish farming in open ocean pens

Green Party leader stops in Qualicum Beach as part of Island campaign

STRIKE: WFP and USW are back at the table for mediation

“No further updates until either an agreement is reached or one party or the other breaks off talks”

Green Party leader Elizabeth May rolls through Vancouver Island to boost a party stronghold

Mocks media, evokes Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and promises change

Most Read