Councillors defend overnight mobile-vendor setups

Sechelt council has given three readings to amendments to the bylaw covering mobile vendors that will allow food trucks or other vendors that have been approved by the district to stay set up overnight.

In a report to council, district staff said they have received a complaint about allowing the vendor at the Davis Bay location stay on site.

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“Food trucks should not impact residences,” the letter of complaint said. “This food truck has been allowed to park directly across from residences in Davis Bay. This makes us feel like no consideration is being given to a few residents who live here full-time and pay taxes. It is all very well to make Sechelt appear more tourist friendly but not to the detriment of residence or businesses in the area.

“Rather than finding a better location you have chosen the easy way out by allowing the vendors to park 24/7. You have not considered the impact on the residences in the area.”

Mayor Darnelda Siegers said the new rules are not much different from the existing rules, which allowed vendors to set up as early as 6:30 a.m. and leave as late as 10:30 p.m.

“We didn’t necessarily have vendors that did that, but the bylaw allowed for it. This actually isn’t much of a change for them,” she said.

Coun. Alton Toth also spoke in favour of the amendment, saying, “This isn’t the first time the mobile vendor bylaw has been experimented with. We previously tried to rotate vendors among the various locations. It’s certainly worth trying new things.”

Coun. Matt McLean said the change would make it more feasible to operate as a mobile vendor in Sechelt. “These vendors that we have are bringing vibrancy to our community and they’re a great benefit to our community at large.”

If the bylaw amendment passes the final reading, it will come back for a review in a year.

 

Private Forest

Sechelt council wants the district to have a strong voice in the province’s review of the private managed forest system.

Forests Minister Doug Donaldson announced the review in May, saying, “We want to hear from the public about whether there is room for improvement in the management of private forests and also whether the private managed forest land program is a benefit to private forest owners and the communities they live in.”

At the June 5 regular council meeting, Mayor Darnelda Siegers said she has already been invited to offer direct input by the consultants doing the review, and raised the issue of logging on a private managed forest lot in Sandy Hook with member of the Managed Forest Council (MFC) at the recent Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities AGM.

Siegers also backed a motion from Coun. Matt McLean to draft a response on behalf of the district that focuses on “the situation in Sandy Hook and some of the concerns they’ve had in the neighbourhood and some of the concerns we’ve had with our municipal authority and ability to manage these areas.”

The issues in Sandy Hook involve Private Managed Forest 503, which borders Seaview, Skookumchuck, and Mt. Richardson roads.

The District of Sechelt is still involved in legal action over logging on the property in 2006 that it said violated local bylaws, and neighbourhood residents filed a formal complaint with the MFC in early 2018.

The MFC’s 2018 inspection program report said there were “no compliance issues noted.”

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