Agriculture issue demands action

Re: Opponents cloud issue of Lantzville land-use bylaw, Letters, Nov. 8.

To the Editor,

Re: Opponents cloud issue of Lantzville land-use bylaw, Letters, Nov. 8.

Steve Brown posed a challenge to supporters of Friends of Urban Agriculture Lantzville to come up with solutions to the urban farming conflict that will “take into account the rights and privileges of the entire surrounding neighbourhood”.

I accept, first you have to be honest.

1. FUAL did not parade “out of town speakers” from other communities to speak in its favour. Those in attendance came of their own free will and were recognized as being almost, if not entirely, local.

2. Compassion Farm has been operating since 1999. After that time, recent tests by the Vancouver Island Health Authority and the Ministry of Environment found no evidence of water contamination or other “offsite health impacts”

3. Fearmongering about the use of horse manure overlooks the fact that regular farms can spray fresh manure from intensive cattle/hog/chicken operations straight onto crops so long as it’s more than 90 days before harvest.

4. Truck delivery of wood chips or manure are infrequent; far less even than weekly garbage truck service. Do they also pose a danger to children?

5. The neighbour’s sited immediately north of the farm, on the same road, is zoned for agricultural use. There is bush across the road. Only one neighbour has ever complained, but his views have been allowed to overrule everyone else. So where is his obligation to respect the rights and priveleges of the entire surrounding neighbourhood?

My solution?

Recognize this as a dispute between two neighbours that is long on hysteria and short on facts.

Rely on the evidence. Check before making unfounded accusations.

Where no actual problem exists, there is no need for any action. Join the province to encourage local food growing.

Liz Fox