Dirk and Nicole, advocates of gardens in Lantzville on Vancouver Island have been ordered by the District of Nanaimo on behalf of the District of Lantzville to cease all agriculture activity.
Dirk and Nicole have 2.5 acres of land that they live on, and have started to grow their own organic vegetables and fruits on. What is the bad in this one may ask, as one should.
The problem lies in the city bylaws, where they are “zoned Residential 1, which allows residential use and Home Based Business only.” (synergymag.ca). The community of Lantzville has a population of 3500 people, their road is a dead end, with 4 houses past theirs, with horses and cows that grace those properties.
The property they reside on was initially destroyed by the previous owner who decided to make a profit by selling all the soil, gravel, and anything else that grew on it before they bought it in the late 90’s. When they took over ownership, they have transformed it into a dead space of wasteland into a thriving garden with a now budding population of insects and birds, and not to mention the plants!
Dirk and his wife have hosted and encouraged many local activities to support agriculture education like 4H trips, ‘tips’ seminars, farmers markets, and magazines committed to healthy living.
Then they received the letter to cease farming.
The letter claimed that the 1996 Bylaw No 1073 held “no owner or occupier of real property shall allow their property to become or remain unsightly by the accumulation of filth, discarded materials or rubbish, which includes unused or stripped automobiles, trucks, trailers, boats, vessels, machinery, mechanical or metal parts.” (lantzville.ca)
Their intention with rebelling? “That together, we see this as an opportunity to “change the system.” (www.synergymag.ca)
They ask that you support them by sending letters to City Council and the Board of Directors, where contact info is given here.
How do you feel about this? It frustrates me to no end, that’s for sure.