‘Minor’ is the wrong term

The people who rely on some sort of fair process to review or comment on developments that affect them

Last year the city of Campbell River allowed the development of 22 plus acres in a heavy industry zoned area (which also happens to be next to a residential area).

They allowed this by issuing a “minor development permit.” The residents and adjacent owners, given the opportunity, would have certainly bitched and held things up if a regular permit were applied for. This is the now famous pole peeling plant issue on Duncan Bay Road.

By using the  “under one thousand square foot” rule of determining what is a “minor development” as opposed to a regular development, the municipality approved the development and issued a permit without any public consultation or warning.

I submit that by using such a narrow definition of what constitutes a “minor development” and no other criteria, the municipality acted unreasonably, and failed to exercise the minimum duty of care to the public.

Such a rule allows for massive earthmoving, trenching, berm building, and any other heavy industrial open air activity within the zoning that does not need a permanent building over 1,000 square feet, at least at the beginning of the project. Modular units, open air manufacturing sites and machinery, and all the associated noise, drainage, traffic and access problems are all removed from review by the community including the adjacent property owners or tenants.

Such a rule allows a massive noisy unhealthy industry to circumvent the usual approval process simply by having a small building to start with.  It isn’t fair: It flies in the face of reason. It could allow a 50-acre open air slaughter house, as long as there was only a small building…and no one would get to say anything before it was approved. By basing approval of potentially massive industrial operations or perhaps other unsavory projects on this one rule, the city has removed its own ability to use common sense, reasonable judgment, and fulfill its duty of care to adjacent property owners, nearby tenants, or the community in general:

The people who rely on some sort of fair process to review or comment on developments that affect them. The usage of such a rule as the only criteria in this case was almost obscene, an arrow in the heart of fair play and common sense.

The question is now what are we going to do about it?

Mike Wright

Tofino

Campbell River Mirror