Approval for Laketown Ranch opening Pandora’s box

“Today, Pandora’s box means a source of troubles. When we talk about opening Pandora’s box...

“Today, Pandora’s box means a source of troubles. When we talk about opening Pandora’s box, we use it as a metaphor to mean that we may not know what we are getting ourselves into”. I believe such is the case with the Sunfest proposal. At the recent Youbou public meeting, complete with “rent-a-crowd” invitees, some of whom received biased notifications from the Lake Cowichan Chamber of Commerce website, thoughtful questioners revealed major shortcomings in the present CVRD rezoning bylaw.

For instance, there is no decibel limit, no crowd limit, no exit clause for when these festivals turn sour, no bond to protect taxpayers from litigation or cleanup expenses of roads or parks, much less deal with vandalism, no protection for the environment or its wildlife and no protection for close by residents’ aquifer.

Closer inspection of the rezoning bylaw reveals there is no legally binding financial responsibility (or liability) for the proponent. Nor is there any tax sharing between the CVRD and the town of Lake Cowichan to offset the costs that vast numbers of festival goers will create on this town’s inadequate infrastructure and small workforce. And if the owners of this property (present or future) default on land taxes or policing costs, (as has happened in other towns) where is the protection for taxpayers? There appears to be none.

This rezoning bylaw, once passed, would be in perpetuity. This is what makes it a Pandora’s box for the local residents who will ultimately pay the price for these appalling rezoning shortfalls. Our elected representatives can and should do better! Residents and taxpayers should be protected with up-to-date, well-researched and well-thought-out zoning bylaws. At this point the new bylaw offers no visible, legally binding protection for taxpayers or the environment.

So if Pandora’s box has already been opened, my best advice to those who abhor this impending 15-or-more day invasion on our tranquil rural lifestyle is to “stock-up, lock-up, hole-up and put-up”. Bottom line is our beautiful and pristine lake, our overtaxed heritage river and our idyllic summers are to be undermined by unchecked commercial exploitation.

 

R. Danaher

Lake Cowichan

Just Posted

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

Tim Wilkinson, who will attempt a double anvil triathlon on Vancouver Island on July 3, poses with his training partner, Shadow, who has been dragged up and down the Nanaimo Parkway many times. (Submitted)
Vancouver Island triathlete takes on ‘double anvil’ for charity

7.6km swim, 360km bike ride, and 84.4km run, all within 36 hours

From left: Thomas Kuecks, David Lane, John Ivison, Denis Berger, Rod Gray, and James Kuecks are Cabin Fever. Catch their performance on the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre website. (Ashley Foot photo)
A&E column: Music Festival winners, CVAC awards, and Cabin Fever

The latest from the Cowichan Valley arts and entertainment community

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley MLA Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

BC Green Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Himalayan Life helped finance the construction of Nepal’s Yangri Academic Centre and dormitories after a 2015 earthquake devastated the valley, killing more than 9,000 people. (Screen grab/Peter Schaeublin)
B.C. charity founder pledges to rebuild Nepalese school swept away by flash floods

Six years after an earthquake killed more than 9,000 people, Nepal faces another catastrophy

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

Most Read