Tanya and Doug Hiltz of the Wisteria Community Association feed people in need through the Stone Soup program, which marked its one-year anniversary Sunday. (NEWS BULLETIN file photo)

Nanaimo meal program will keep serving up soup after setback

Wisteria Community Association’s Stone Soup shack didn’t have a building permit

A volunteer-run meal program in downtown Nanaimo is continuing after a setback.

Tanya Hiltz of the Wisteria Community Association said her group’s Stone Soup initiative will continue with a “Plan B” after the City of Nanaimo advised that the soup shack on Nicol Street went up without a building permit.

“There’s no stove or oven, all we use here is roasting pans for re-heating the soup. So where do they get off saying it’s a structure when it has a tent for a roof?” Hiltz asked.

Stone Soup celebrated its one-year anniversary of operation on Sunday after being started by “a little tiny group that knew this has been needed for years,” Hiltz said.

Dale Lindsay, the city’s director of community development, didn’t wish to speak to specifics but said the responsibility is generally on a property owner to bring to the city an applications showing what’s intended to be built and how it complies with code.

“In this case and in the majority of these cases, it’s based on complaints,” he said. “If we get a complaint, we respond, staff visit a site and then we’ll provide correspondence to the owner.”

Stone Soup originally operated out of a tent and Hiltz said she’s allowed to have a tent on the property.


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