An interesting perspective on the arbitrary laws being enforced against my friends the Jaworskis. As I thought this is a capricious use of laws. Drop the charges. It brings justice into disrepute.
Dear Mayor and Councillors,
The above mentioned issue has reached all the way to Vancouver Island through a variety of mainstream news and internet sources. As a municipal planner (former Chief Planner for the City of Winnipeg and Director of Planning for the City of Victoria) with over 40 years of experience, I must express my concern respecting the potential for public skepticism regarding the efficacy of local zoning by-laws that this story may engender.
Of course, from such a distance, it is impossible for me to appreciate the full circumstances surrounding the summons with which the Jaworski family has been served. By all media accounts, however, it would appear that the By-Law Officer in question has issued it respecting the small Liberty Seminar held once a year, for the past number of years, and by all intents and purposes, to friends.
Apparently, the summons cites the use of the property as a “commercial conference centre” as an infraction of your Zoning-By-Law. If this is true, please ensure that your own legal advice is consonent with that of your By-Law Officer’s actions. In my experience, if one is to be cited with allowing a non-conforming use to persist on one’s property, then it follows that said use must be defined in the by-law. I have looked at your Zoning By-Law and find no definition of “conference centre”, commercial or otherwise.
My point is, that the requirement to adhere to local by-laws must be fair to all and not subject to arbitrary interpretations. Good neighborhoods depend on that.