Surprised at director’s attitude to estuary issue

Ms. Iannidinardo seems to think that jobs are the only issue here.

Surprised at director’s attitude to estuary issue

Surprised at director’s attitude

I am writing in response to Ms. Iannidinardo’s column in the March 29 Cowichan Valley Citizen. I was surprised that a representative of a local government body can be so lax about enforcing bylaws and seems to approve of lease-breaking of a government lease.

In the lease with the Ministry of Crown Lands granted to Tidal Harmony Holdings in 1989, the lessee covenants to “observe, abide by and comply with all applicable laws, bylaws, orders, directions, ordinances and regulation of and competent governmental authority in any way affecting the Land and improvements situate thereon, or their sue and occupation.” This company sublet to Western Stevedoring (WS) in 1989. Item 1.2 of the Schedule attached to the lease, states “The lessee shall (a) not anchor or secure any buildings, structures or improvements on the Land” (other than shown in the Legal Description Schedule).

WS has not complied with the bylaws of the CVRD by applying for rezoning prior to entering into an unregistered sub-lease with Pacific Industrial Marine (PIM). They have also allowed PIM to erect buildings on the land subject to the lease. PIM has been operating for several years, apparently in conflict with the lease agreement and the zoning bylaws.

The purpose of the WS lease is for “cargo assembly, storage and handling and port related activities”. I don’t believe that the operation of Pacific Marine Industrial meets these qualifications.

According to Electoral Area D Zoning Bylaw for Water Industrial the following principal only the following uses are permitted: (a) Environmental protection, restoration and enhancement; (b) Environmental education; (c) Boat building, repairs or sales; (d) Log storage and handling.

According to the Area D Official Community Plan the proposed use must be consistent with the CEEMP (Cowichan Estuary Environmental Management Plan) and any required environmental studies must have been completed to the satisfaction of the CEEMP. The proposed use must be sufficiently screened, masked, buffered or otherwise mitigated, to avoid negative impacts such as noise, water and air pollution or loss of public views

Ms. Iannidinardo, in her article in the Cowichan Valley Citizen, talks about what good industrial citizens Western Stevedoring and Pacific Industrial Marine have been. I am wondering how such good citizens neglected to follow the requirements of the lease allowing them to be in the bay in the first place. I also wonder how such good citizens neglected to abide by zoning laws and lease agreements. And I also wonder that Ms. Iannidinardo either was not aware of the discrepancies or did not care that these companies were not in compliance.

Ms. Iannidinardo seems to think that jobs are the only issue here. Our environment is at risk when industry is allowed to flout the rules. An Environmental Impact Assessment should be mandatory prior to any rezoning.

Ms. Iannidinardo should be promoting other sustainable job creation ideas in the Cowichan Valley like tourism, housing development and clean technology, rather than defending two companies that are not compliant with regulations.

Tricia Datené