Dalton Smith was one resident representing those opposed to the bylaw amendment that would allow RVs and trailers to be set up on residential properties at the public meeting on Monday (May 11).

Rezoning request sparks controversy in Marble Bay

Sewage disposal and water quality a main concern for residents opposed to amendment of bylaws.

A group of 15 property owners from Marble Bay, just west of Lake Cowichan, have asked the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) to make amendments to their current zoning bylaws in order to allow RVs and other camping vehicles to be set up on their property. While these conditions have already existed in Marble Bay for some time, outside of regulation, the request has caused an uproar from neighbouring residents, who see its request as “setting a bad precedent” that will greatly impact the watershed itself.

Current CVRD Area I bylaws state that “a tent, trailer, recreational vehicle, park model unit, bus or other motor vehicle must not be used as a residence” in an R2 single-family dwelling. Marble Bay resident Dalton Smith argued that despite zoning restrictions being in place since 1975, little enforcement has led to those very conditions being common along Nantree Road and Peri Road.

Smith, along with Michael Loseth, gave a presentation at last week’s town council meeting in Lake Cowichan, asking council for their support in opposing the proposed bylaw amendment.

Smith assured council that the opposition was not an example of NIMBY (Not In My BackYard), and that the main concern for him and other residents is the contamination of the watershed.

Smith said that he had seen trailers with no improved septic systems dumping raw sewage into Cowichan Lake and on the ground, especially concerning, he noted, due to the fact that the neighbourhood is located on a flood plain.

“I don’t mind if they camp out once in a while, but they’re dumping raw sewage into out water,” Smith said. “Its especially troubling with the high turbidity levels we’re seeing now. I think it could be a compounding factor.”

Members of council, including councillor Bob Day, who also sits on the CVRD board, expressed concern over the proposed amendment, particularly with the potential effect it would have on the town’s drinking water.

“I don’t think placing recreation in a residential zone is a good idea, personally,” councillor Tim McGonigle said.

“We should have more information on whether or not its affecting our drinking water,” Mayor Ross Forrest added.

Aside from sewage concerns, Smith’s presentation also noted that residents are concerned with parking issues, noise, disruption and the effect that more campers could have on property values.

At a public meeting on Monday evening (May 11), supporters of the bylaw amendment were vehement on staying in the area, as many have been living in similar arrangements for several decades. The residents also noted that several of them had dug outhouses, similar to the ones installed on the nearby public beach.

Just Posted

Duncan Minds in Motion program has space available

Minds in Motion runs on five Monday afternoons beginning on May 27

Anticipation building for trip to D-Day anniversary for Chemainus students

Experience of being there promises to be a memorable one

Retired teacher’s generosity provides huge opportunity for two Chemainus Secondary students

Blitterswyk and Brown looking forward to being at Juno Beach for 75th anniversary of D-Day

Breakers battle into girls soccer provincials

Kelsey takes aim at top-eight finish

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Christmas morning burglar sentenced on Vancouver Island

Justin Redmond Feusse, 20, sentenced to 240 days in jail for Dec. 25 break-and-enter

So, do you know ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’?

Ontario man searching for fellow he travelled with in Europe 50 years ago

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

Most Read