Saanich flower stand operator Colleen O’Farrell (left) joined Katherine Little (right), the self-proclaimed jam stand lady, in the fight for farm stands in March. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich greenlights farmstands, garden suites after extensive public input

Both unanimous decisions years in the making

The end is in sight for Saanich residents fighting for the right to open a roadside farm stand or build a detached garden suite on their property.

Following a Sept. 15 public hearing that lasted nearly four hours, council voted unanimously in favour of bylaw amendments to permit roadside stands selling homegrown and homemade goods in the Urban Containment Boundary, and also approved garden suites – small, detached rentals – in areas zoned for single-family dwellings.

READ ALSO: Saanich council to dig into long-awaited garden suite study

During the public hearing, residents were invited to phone in and share their thoughts on both matters which have been on council’s radar for several years. After extensive public input and council debate, both issues are nearly resolved – news that Mayor Fred Haynes called “super positive.”

He noted that after four years, Saanich will now see garden suites popping up, which he said will bring a number of benefits to residents; the small, detached dwellings allow seniors to “age in place,” help young families get into the housing market, permit multi-generational families to co-habitate, and create additional rental housing.

READ ALSO: Saanich looks at relaxing farm stand ban

Haynes was also pleased to see the bylaw amendment for roadside farm stands pass unanimously. He pointed out that farm stands have a long history in Saanich. The move to implement temporary use permits for farm stands came as a response to the pandemic, but Haynes said it will continue to benefit stand operators long after.

Efforts to permit farm stands in the district were catalyzed by resident Katherine Little, who began fighting to keep her jam business, The Little Stand, open on her street for more than two years. Saanich bylaw officers came knocking after neighbours complained and Little hasn’t stopped pushing for change since.

Her campaign gained momentum when Colleen O’Farrell, a local florist who opened a flower stand amid the pandemic, joined the fight in March.

READ ALSO: Support blooms as Saanich flower stand operator takes on bylaw

Little, who plans to write a book about the farm stand debacle, was “thrilled” with council’s decision and felt it was a testament to their hard work and the outpouring of community support.

“Two years ago, I was just some crazy lady selling jam in front of her house,” and now the bylaw is changing, she said. “They messed with the wrong roadside stand.”

Council will conduct final readings and adoptions of the amendments at a future meeting. Afterwards, those operating stand-operators will have 30 days to obtain a permit. Little said she and O’Farrell will be the first ones to apply – Little plans to frame hers – and the pair have a bottle of champagne ready to toast their success.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of Saanich

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kwick’kanum (Eric Pelkey), a hereditary chief of the Tsawout Nation, addressed the crowd that gathered at Mount Newton Cross Road and Highway 17 on Oct. 23. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
UPDATED: Pat Bay Highway reopens after rally supporting Mi’kmaq fishing rights

Supporters call on government to recognize Indigenous treaty rights

Sooke man Rik Downer spent two weeks in the Royal Jubilee Hospital after contracting flesh-eating bacteria. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Sooke man’s bumped knee leads to fight for life

Man unknowingly contracts case of rare flesh-eating disease

Const. Graham Walker of the Saanich Traffic Safety Unit recreates an incident involving a driver who police say attempted to film the scene of a crash while driving up Highway 17. (Saanich Police/Twitter)
Police track down driver caught filming accident scene on Pat Bay Highway

Driver issued $368 ticket, points on their licence

The 21st annual Japanese Cultural Fair streams online Oct. 24 from noon to 3 p.m. (Facebook/Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society)
Esquimalt’s Japanese Cultural Fair takes tastes, experiences and cultures online

21st annual free event streams Saturday, Oct. 24 starting at noon

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Most Read