Though cities across North America have changed their bylaws to support “urban agriculture” as a legitimate home-based business that supports local economies and food security, the Lantzville Council on Vancouver Island wants to put these one-acre gardeners in jail for violating zoning laws, though they live in a semi-rural area, with cows and horses three doors down from them.
Dirk Becker and Nicole Shaw live on 2½ acres, but have dedicated only one to gardening. Grounded News headed over to the island to film Dirk Becker who runs Compassion Farm, and who is curently facing possable jail time for what he does…growing food.
Lantzville Council is proceeding with legal action — taking the Beckers to court to shut down their “urban” farm which is located in a semi-rural area, on a dead end road.
The Beckers transformed their property from essentially a gravel pit (created by the previous owner who strip-mined, removing soil, sand and gravel, lowering the level of the property three to five feet) to a lush oasis of life.
They have received certification from the Canadian Wildlife Federation for creating “Backyard Habitat” for wildlife. They also shared with council information about what they do, how they do it, along with links and videos on “urban farming,” the “urban farming movement” and the “local food movement.”
Dirk and Nicole wrote a detailed piece on these events, extracted below:
“You have 90 days to cease all agricultural activity…” read the letter from the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN), on behalf of the District of Lantzville. “Your property is zoned Residential 1, which allows residential use and Home Based Business only.”
With the subsequent public outcry and media storm across Canada, we’ve witnessed how important this issue is to people.
You can help them by contacting them at email@example.com, or 250.390.5199, or by contacting the authorities:
District of Lantzville Councilor’s phone numbers and email addresses:
Mayor Colin Haime said this email should also be used: firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional District of Nanaimo Board of Directors phone numbers, mailing and email addresses: http://www.rdn.bc.ca/cms.asp?wpID=1886