Resident mystified over council’s handling of bylaw

Council mishandled container bylaw with respect to resident placement on his property

To the Editor:

Last Monday, myself along with several others attended the public hearing down in Keremeos, dealing with the amendments to bylaws. It was a very “lively” evening with one member of the public being asked to remove himself!

What I do not understand is how council can “grandfather” ( Mayor Despot’s words) in a container unit that was placed illegally in the first place.

The bylaw 721 dated 2006 states emphatically “No shipping / cargo containers defined as prefabricated metal containers or boxes specifically constructed for the transport of goods by rail, ship or transport truck are not permitted within residential zones, specifically CR, R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, RD and RM1.”

The new bylaw now reads verbatim. Am I missing something here in the translation? How can you “grandfather” in something that has been illegal for several years and the container unit was not on the property when it was purchased? I also have not heard of the mayor visiting the property of complaints either, although he has done so in this instance. There was a heated discussion outside in the parking lot with others after this meeting, who had the same question. How can this be done? Bylaws are there for a reason and it isn’t for breaking and changing them to suit one individual.

Do more of us go and break the law and then apply for a bylaw change? Farm fresh eggs are beginning to sound good and right out of my own backyard? Maybe even a goose to keep intruders and unwanted visitors out. Or should I sell my home and move to acreage where I can do what I want and not break the bylaws? It appears you can do what you wish in Keremeos, ignoring those around you. Small town or not, this should not be happening and obviously having bylaws in place does not make any difference.

When the rats / other creatures start surfacing in the spring from underneath this container and invading adjoining homes will anyone do anything about it? Probably not.

Maybe you should go and get an updated version of all the pertinent bylaws and find out for yourself how your property fares – you might  be surprised, i.e. fences, shrubbery, oubuildings, etc.

Brenda Cooper, Keremeos