Farmer upset over Saanich’s enforcement of truck route restrictions

  • Mar. 16, 2011 6:00 p.m.

The enforcement of a decades-old bylaw is ruffling the feathers of a Central Saanich farmer.

Saanich’s decision-making process contradicts the idea of open government, a legal representative for Stanhope Dairy Farm, just north of the Saanich border, told council Monday night.

Stanhope has made headlines in Central Saanich recently after the company began trucking infill to the property, angering neighbours who say the backroads are too narrow for large trucks.

Central Saanich earlier this month approved the widening of Lochside Drive to allow trucks better access to the site from the north.

On the south side, Saanich recently posted signs outlining weight restrictions on Old East Saanich Road – a maximum of 5,500 kilograms.

“The bylaw’s in effect whether there are signs or not. The signs were simply a way that deals with (residents’) complaints that truck drivers weren’t aware they can’t be there,” Leonard said, noting the weight restrictions date back to 1989. “Drivers were finding it more of a direct route to come off the Pat Bay Highway, down our road to get to Stanhope. But that road is not part of the truck route bylaws. It’s never been. It’s inappropriate for truck driving.”

John Alexander, representing Stanhope, said drivers heading to the site have only recently begun being ticketed as they pass through Saanich.

Council remains concerned that Old East Saanich Road is not durable enough to handle heavy truck traffic and will require repairs much sooner than expected.

kslavin@saanichnews.com