To the Editor,
Re: Urban agriculture can’t be held back, Letters, July 7.
I understand the issue of Lantzville council versus Compassion Farm is a legal issue involving zoning bylaws that were set at a previous time and currently in place for protection of property values.
What I don’t understand is that zoning is changed all the time and variances are approved all the time.
These procedures can indeed be time consuming, but what is the harm in allowing things to continue as they are until these laws can be changed to reflect modern times and the will of the majority?
I truly am puzzled and nearly speechless that someone would not want a farm next to them and would be bothered by a few piles of dirt, and that anyone would go to such a great extent to persecute a farmer when there may be a number of other options.
How can Lantzville council act in good conscience in taking legal action without truly knowing the will of the majority of the residents in Lantzville and the regional district? Aren’t elected officials supposed to be serving the will of the majority of the community they are elected by?
Or is this a case of council thinking it already knows the will of the majority?
Laws need to be constantly updated to reflect the changing times. When zoning laws were first put on the books, humans in North America were living in the dream world of unlimited resources. It became a status symbol to live in the suburbs.
Times have changed. Now, unless you work close to where you live in the suburbs or have your own home-based business, driving to work contributes to the decline of our planet.
Mainstream food production has been centralized and industrialized, requiring huge investments in gas-guzzling machinery, and huge inputs of fertilizers and chemical pesticides, as well as non-renewable oil to produce these fertilizers and pesticides, never mind transporting these fertilizers and pesticides over the globe.
The United Nations Food Security Council issued a paper that urges a switch away from current industrialized farming methods because they are unsustainable. After extensive research, they concluded that small farms and agro-ecology are the only ways we can continue to survive and feed the planet.
While everyone cannot adjust their life overnight to acknowledge these realities, people in good conscience should be attempting to change laws to harmonize with these new planetary realizations and encourage, not prosecute, tax-paying citizens who are aware of the implications of limited global resources.