Lantzville residents have the chance to dig deeper into the details of a soil deposit and removal bylaw during two upcoming information sessions.
District staff will provide an overview of the bylaw and how it could affect residents if adopted.
The sessions, to provide information to the public, are not public hearings.
“The objective is to do it in a cooperative spirit, trying to get the community involved,” said Lantzville Mayor Jack de Jong. “The bylaw is not cast in concrete.”
De Jong said that for the last few months the district has been seeking feedback from residents regarding their thoughts on the issue.
Jamie Wallace, a spokesman for the Friends of Urban Agriculture Lantzville Society, said people his group spoke to during the annual Minetown Days celebration were unaware of the bylaw.
He said the society hopes that people go to the information sessions to understand how the bylaw can affect them and their neighbours.
“It’s a great idea to have an information session and we will see what will come out of that,” he said.
Wallace said the society supports limiting the exportation and removal of topsoil and expects a soil bylaw to help protect the district, but doesn’t want it to inhibit the use of compost or soil to replenish nutrients.
In an official statement, the society indicated that the draft bylaw involves an onerous application process and could involve high costs if a property owner wanted to import or move more than 50 cubic metres of soil on their property. Wallace said it also doesn’t take into account the needs of different sized properties.
“Our biggest question is how council arrived at the quantities of soil,” he said, adding the society wants to know if input from professionals such as an agrologist was used.
The bylaw passed first and second reading and was sent to the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, which will consult with the Ministry of Energy and Mines and Environment.
Lantzville’s Soil Deposit and Removal Bylaw No. 99 public information sessions are Wednesday (Sept. 19) on the second floor of the district’s office at 7192 Lantzville Rd. The first session is 1-4 p.m. and the evening session runs 6-8 p.m. District staff will provide an overview of the bylaw at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Copies of the draft bylaw are available on the district’s website, www.lantzville.ca.
People can give feedback on the bylaw until the end of September by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or writing to P.O. Box 100 Lantzville B.C., V0R 2H0.