Poor soil quality at the Chemainus River Campgrounds site is evident in this Madrone Environmental Services map. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Island campground spared from closure while owners’ case reviewed

Firm deadline to cease operations removed while parties work on ALR exclusion

The Oct. 1 deadline has come and gone and the Chemainus River Campground is still in operation.

The campground is located on Agricultural Land Reserve property on the Trans-Canada Highway and owners Jeri and John Wyatt were ordered to cease business as a campground by that date by the Agricultural Land Commission or face a stiff penalty.

The Wyatts have received a reprieve of sorts, although nothing confirmed in writing yet, while the Municipality of North Cowichan, Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley and jurisdictions within the provincial government work behind the scenes to see if the property can be excluded from the ALR to continue as a campground rather than having to revert back to agricultural status that has been deemed impractical for so many reasons.

While the Wyatts are relieved they didn’t have to shut the campground down and basically lose everything they had invested in the site, they won’t be breathing easier until a more definitive directive is received.

“It’s basically in North Cowichan’s hands,” said John Wyatt. “They’re putting in an application for us.

“All I know they’ve given us a reprieve for the time being. Everybody can kind of take a breather and hopefully with North Cowichan being firmly behind us they’ll get something through.

“We’re good. We’re not going to be adding or anything like that. We’re going to continue as normal for the time being.”

The Wyatts had originally made an application to expand the number of campsites, but when the ALC caught wind of it, the deadline was imposed to revert the ALR land back to agricultural use.

The topic came up at the recent Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver. North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring said Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham and even Premier John Horgan, a friend going back many years, are aware of the situation and promising another look.

Along with Routley, “we met with the minister at UBCM,” said Siebring.

“The Province has committed to continuing dialogue with the Wyatts.”

An exclusion application was filed for the land by the Municipality.

“It’s gone right up to the top echelons,” said Siebring.

“I’m pretty confident the Wyatts aren’t going to get shut down anytime soon.”

Former MLA Bill Routley also went to bat for the Wyatts before the deadline to bring the matter to the attention of North Cowichan as a delegation at a council meeting.

Just Posted

City, Courtenay Legion collaborate on special tulip project

1,000+ tulip bulbs planted in advance of the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands

Cumberland wastewater procurement process should come in 2020

Construction on the first phase of the lagoon would likely begin in 2021

Elizabeth May juggles Island tour to make stop in Comox

Green leader takes exception to latest tactics from the NDP over minority government question

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh to campaign in Port Alberni

Singh joins Courtenay-Alberni candidate for rally to kick off final weekend before election

VIDEO: First all-female spacewalk team makes history

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir did work on International Space Station’s power grid

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

Town of Comox, RCMP complete investigations into allegations of staff misconduct

The Town of Comox, as well as the RCMP, have concluded their… Continue reading

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Most Read