Urban agriculture issue heats up in Lantzville, BC
Council will also establish an advisory committee consisting of two councillors and five at-large members to gauge public desires on how to evolve urban agriculture within the district.
By Toby Gorman
Nanaimo News Bulletin
June 20, 2011
Dirk Becker, owner of Compassion Farms, was cited in contravention of zoning bylaws in October. He was issued a 180-day cease-and-desist order to stop growing produce on his one-hectare property and selling it at farmers’ markets, an activity not allowed under the zoning laws for residential property.
Last week that order expired, but Becker says he has no intention of applying for a temporary use permit created earlier this year as a response not only to Becker’s situation, but to all Lantzville property owners while council develops a suitable bylaw to address urban agriculture.
“We’re not rushing to respond to what we perceive as a threat,” said Becker. “They threaten and they hope it’s enough. It’s called voluntary compliance. The mass majority of people who get their tax notice just pay it. The vast majority of people who get traffic fines just pay it. Our responsibility is to function in a way of what people in the mid-Island want.”