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

Time granted to examine Chemainus River Campground situation more thoroughly

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The Wyatts had originally made an application to expand the number of campsites, but when the ALC caught wind of it, the deadline was imposed to revert the ALR land back to agricultural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

Huards Haunted House returns to terrify Ladysmith for another spooky season

At Huards Haunted House, they scare because they care

VIDEO: Saanich resident shocked when trespasser licks security camera, rummages through mail

‘I found the situation really bizarre,’ said the Gordon Head resident

Ladysmith gas prices spike over night to 151.9 per litre

A provincial inquiry found B.C. drivers pay a 13 percent premimum compared to other provinces

Woman charged with numerous drug offenses

Police make arrest on an outstanding warrant dating back to earlier raid on Chemainus property

Saltair Marine’s ‘Silver Bullet’ found by RCMP months after reported theft

The $20,000 vessel was stolen from the Ladysmith Marina back in July

Second young woman dies after rollover crash near Williams Lake

‘Someone’s going to get her heart, which is awesome, because she has the best heart in the world’

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

Union says Western Forest Products refuses to budge from ‘unreasonable concessions’

According to a press release, both parties met on Oct. 16, 18, 19, and 20.

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Most Read