What merits a bylaw revision

Everyone in town might decide they are too sick to maintain their own boulevards.

At last week’s council meeting, mayor and council reviewed a letter sent in by John and Dianna Bell, of Lake Cowichan, stating that because of medical issues the couple are having difficulty keeping up with the growth of broom on their section of the boulevard on the roundabout at the top of King George Road.

Though council did take some time to consider what this meant for the couple, and some did suggest that perhaps the bylaw stating that boulevards be maintained might could be revised, the decision was ultimately reached to send the couple a letter saying that they must maintain it or risk facing a fine.

It was decided that any revising of the bylaw would open a “can of worms” because in doing so everyone in town might decide they are too sick to maintain their own boulevards.

While this is understandable to a certain extent -— not every bylaw can be re-written because someone has an issue with it — the couple in question are by no means law-breakers with no regard for the esthetic beauty of their community.

The central question they asked was also not addressed by council: where did the soil come from to fill in the roundabout? They claim that there was no issue with broom in the area until after the roundabout was built. Instead, the discussion around this couple’s concerns seemed dismissive and lacking any real compassion.

I don’t think this was council’s intent, and I’m sure that not every request or complaint along these lines can be addressed with in-depth care, but it left me wondering how this couple is supposed to deal with their problem? It seemed that a lot of assumptions were made: council suggested the two could ask friends to help them or use a ride on mower. However, I’m sure council is not aware of the full scope of the Bell’s daily situation.