A District of Sechelt bylaw officer tried to cancel the business licence of Cross-Trainers Holistic Health Playground for a second time, but council once again afforded the owners more time to fix any bylaw infractions.
The decision was made by council at their Nov. 20 regular meeting.
Originally the District’s bylaw officer tried to cancel the licence in May; however, owners obtained legal counsel and appealed the cancellation during a July 17 council meeting. At that meeting, council decided to reinstate the business licence for three months so the owners could deal with complaints about noise and parking.
At the time Mayor John Henderson said that staff would help the owners “work out the process and figure out how to address all the different facets of this.” However, that help didn’t come, according to business owners Patrick and Jackie Cross.
In a letter from the couple’s legal counsel, lawyer James Graham wrote, “The District did not contact the licensees until about one week before the three-month extension period expired.”
He said that two days before the three-month deadline, the bylaw officer interviewed Patrick and Jackie Cross and the two complainants in the neighbourhood.
“The next day, the letter of Oct. 18, 2013 was drafted by the District cancelling the licence,” Graham wrote.
He said the owners were never given any practical advice to adhere to the bylaws they were accused of breaking.
“As with the previous licence cancellation, it appears that the District is again seeking to enforce a foregone conclusion based on allegations unproven, from unknown complainants whose motives are unclear, and without any effort on the part of the District to assist with compliance,” Graham wrote to council.
Staff argued the home-based business was actually a fitness centre by definition and therefore only allowed in certain industrial and commercial zones, but Graham disagreed.
“The licensees are a private, by appointment only fitness training home-based business,” Graham wrote.
In an effort to help sort through the issues, council decided to give Cross-Trainers until the first council meeting in January 2014 to meet their bylaw requirements.