Solution should have been simple

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.

For the record, I did not speak at the public hearing regarding Lantzville’s proposed new urban food gardening bylaw.  (“Urban” does seem like a strange term, given the semi-rural nature of the community.)

I do, however, have a challenge for Steve Brown: Please explain the exact nature of the alleged “legitimate problem with regards to a commercial business operating on residential property within a residential neighbourhood.”

How is that particular business commercial?  (One definition of commerce is “. . . the buying and selling of commodities on a large scale …”  Selling at a weekly, seasonal farmers’ market hardly seems to fit.)

How many vehicles per week is Brown talking about when he cites increased traffic?  Is there evidence of more “raw” manure on that property than on neighbouring properties where there are horses and cows?

My understanding is that, in the last few months, Compassion Farm has been inspected by the Ministry of Environment, by the Ministry of Agriculture, and by the Vancouver Island Health Authority – three times in the latter case.

The water has been tested more than once.  Everything was fine on all of those occasions.

How many affected neighbours are there, and how have they “tried to reach a compromise”?  The owners of Compassion Farm have complained of regular harassment by one neighbour.

Moreover, they and others have reported a number of instances of bias and unprofessional behaviour on the part of certain members of Lantzville council.

Could it be that this is not about urban agriculture at all?

Perhaps the real problem is that this neighbour simply doesn’t like the owners of Compassion Farm. Or maybe he doesn’t like the local food movement that they represent.

Personal preference is one thing, but could it be that he – and the members of Lantzville council who have inappropriately taken sides in this dispute between neighbours – are the ones who have turned a process that should have been simple and collaborative, into one that has been unnecessarily time-consuming and stressful?

Suzanne Gregory

Nanaimo

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