Regarding CVRD responds to letter defending the Zuks, their “factual details” don’t tell the whole story. Let’s have a look at a few so called FAQ’s using the CVRD’s own website format Fact or Fiction:
Q. Mr. and Mrs. Zuk say that they did apply for a permit (to install rip-rap)…
Real FAQ #1. They did indeed apply for the permit in February 2011with instruction and under the supervision of CVRD staff. However, after much disagreement between CVRD’s own staff, they were told that the application was done incorrectly. After much delay they were told they did not need to install any foreshore protection, and a permit would not be issued and thus they had no choice but to request the return of their application and their fees.
Real FAQ. #2. A CVRD staff member who is a neighbour of the Zuks DID get a timely permit to install rip-rap at the same time.
Mmm, why did the CVRD not report this in their “FAQ’s”? Is there a little favouritism or cronyism at play here, perhaps?
Q. Other than building without permits why is the CVRD concerned about this?
The CVRD states: “The Willemar Bluff is an environmentally and geotechnically sensitive area. As a feeder bluff, its natural characteristic is to erode and transfer sediment (e.g. sand) to the foreshore. The transfer of sediment has been interrupted over time, in part, by the “armouring” that has been installed along the bluff’s base. The erosion, however, continues.
Real FAQ #3. Again, not only did the Zuks neighbour (the CVRD staff member) get a permit to install rip-rap in this environmentally sensitive area, but the sewer line constructed by the CVRD also runs under the beach along the Willimar Bluff. It was Lisa and John Zuk that reported to CVRD staff at the nearby pumping station that the concrete sewer line was exposed and at risk. Within a few days there was truck after truck rumbling along the beach to dump rock on this very same environmentally sensitive area that feeds sand to Goose Spit (where there is yet more foreshore protection). Again, the CVRD version makes no mention of these “FAQ’s”.
Q. Mr. and Mrs. Zuk say that they entered into an agreement with the CVRD in November 2014 and then the CVRD “changed the goalposts” on them? What is this all about?
Real FAQ #4 . The first goalpost change not mentioned by the CVRD is regarding the stairs. Upon finding out about the existence of proof of the existence of the stairs in 1971, the CVRD changed the requirement to a year previous to the Zuk's photograph. Despite the fact that the CVRD stated that the stairs were grandfathered, they've changed the deadline date three times about when exactly the stairs would be saved by grandfathering. It appears that it wouldn't matter what year those stairs were constructed, they were now not going to approve them even if God Himself constructed the stairs on the day of creation.
Real FAQ #5 . The second goalpost change not mentioned by the CVRD is regarding “The Agreement”. At $75,000 spent and counting, the Zuk’s just wanted to get on with life and did everything and more as required. It was only after they had signed the agreement and after they had completed the work that the CVRD told them of a hold-back of a portion $4,500.00 of a “Landscape Permit”. And this hold-back has changed from 25% to 30% and now to 33% proving that CVRD staff is interpreting by-laws on the fly.
Real FAQ #6 . The third goalpost change by CVRD staff after the agreement had been signed and the work done was the threat that the Zuk’s might now be sued for civil costs, i.e. +$20,000 supposedly accrued by the CVRD when they hired a lawyer in Victoria. Again, none of this was mentioned when they signed the agreement..
Real FAQ #7. So many goalposts changed over time that finally the Zuk’s hired legal council as witness to attend an EAC meeting with CVRD staff to try to pin down what was indeed required. CVRD staff did not allow the Zuks to speak which is their right under the Community Charter.
Fact, fiction, or half-truths as told by the CVRD? I think your readers are quite capable to decide for themselves once they are in possession of ALL of the facts.
Ernst Vegt, Comox