Eric Lindquist points to the heavy machinery being operated by Ed Shaw. Shaw has been clearing the property behind Lindquist’s home to establish a pig farm in a move that Lindquist calls bullying behaviour. (Tim Collins/Sooke News Mirror)

Sooke pig farm controversy rocks neighbourhood

West Coast Road property subject of an ongoing saga

In a move that at least one neighbour has characterized as bullying behaviour, the owner and the extended family of the owner of the 6910 West Coast Rd. property have cleared the property of trees and now say that they are intent upon establishing a pig farm next to several residential properties.

It’s a threat that has neighbours concerned that, if it goes ahead, will make their homes decrease in value. One neighbour, in particular, is eyeing the developments behind his home with dismay.

Eric Lindquist, who resides at 6908 West Coast Rd. and whose property is immediately adjacent to the proposed pig farm, distributed letters to all the surrounding neighbours and to members of district councilouncil, informing them of recent developments.

“If this goes ahead, it will affect all the neighbouring houses. For me, I’ll be stuck with a house that’s pretty much unsellable,” said Lindquist.

He added that other neighbours along Tominny Road and the Prestige Oceanside Resort, almost immediately across the road from the proposed farm, would be impacted.

The situation is convoluted with Ed Shaw denying that he has ever had any ownership of the land, and his daughter Stephanie Shaw characterizing her father as “the machine operator” (clearing the land) with no connection to the pig farm project.

But the true situation is a bit more complex.

Ed Shaw said the land was once owned by his father who gifted it to his daughter (Ed’s sister) who then sold it to Ed Shaw’s son. Shaw had a second mortgage on the property for a time before it went into forfeiture, where it was bought by Anthony Laughren of Alberta.

Stephanie Shaw now said she’s simply a representative of Laughren, but acknowledges that he is her brother-in-law, who bought the property “to help out the family.”

But regardless of what part of the Shaw family owns the land, the threat to build a pig farm is still being seen as an attempt to push the municipality into supporting the removal of the property from the ALR.

RELATED: Pig feedlot planned for Central Sooke

The issue stretches back to 1975 when the Shaw family first made application to remove the land from the ALR and establish a subdivision. Since that time, they have tried at least three other times to change the land’s ALR designation in various iterations of what, at their heart, are the same request.

The last such attempt resulted in council refusing to support the application.

Stephanie Shaw calls it an unfair situation.

“This land is not cropable and I’ve done my due diligence since I’ve become involved,” said Stephanie Shaw. “I ordered up independent evaluations on the land.”

She added that, according to her experts, the land is only usable for pig farming, a position echoed by her father in a prior interview.

It’s a position that doesn’t fly with Coun. Rick Kasper, who feels that the timing of this latest move by the Shaws is timed to take advantage of the municipal election.

“They have to realize that we (the council) can only make a recommendation on an application to take land out of the ALR. The decision to do so rests with the Agricultural Land Commision (ALC),” said Kasper.

“Personally, I’m not a fan of taking land out of the ALR, but even making a recommendation has to wait until the next council, after the election.”

Gord Benard, a regional planner with the ALC said that tactics like those being employed by the Shaw family are not new to the ALC.

RELATED:

“We get this sort of thing all the time. People would rather develop the property and make a lot of money than farm it,” said Benard.

“That’s why we’re here – to prevent that from happening.”

Benard added that, while he appreciates that the prospect of a pig farm may be off-putting to neighbours, the threat has little traction in pressuring the ALC.

“They are threatening to use the land for an agricultural pursuit? Great. That’s exactly what we want to happen,” said Benard.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Final bell could sound for project that allows Victoria grads to dress in style

Magic Wand must find space to store its prom attire for Greater Victoria students by end of June

Man accused of Brentwood Bay murder appears in court

Alan Chapman tells judge he wants next court appearance to be “as far away as possible”

Victoria police hand out Civic Service Awards

June 24 awards include recognition for help on days-long fire, cannabis robbery, volunteer service

Emergency crews at scene of accident at Sooke’s Camp Bernard

First responders are on the scene of an accident at Camp Bernard,… Continue reading

Langford has ‘no plans’ to make changes to Western Speedway after noise complaints

Flyer passed out to residents voices concerns over racetrack noise

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. man faces deportation over father’s honour-killing conviction

Father lied to immigration, was later acquitted of charges in Jassi Sidhu’s murder

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

30 years later: B.C. woman uses sidewalk chalk to reclaim site of her sexual assault

Vancouver woman didn’t think her powerful story, written in chalk, would ignite such support

Slain friend motivates rookie football player to make it with hometown B.C. Lions

Jaylen Sandhu, stabbed to death in 2014, a source of inspiration for promising RB Jamel Lyles

Sooke council urged to move faster on off-leash dog park plan

Resident questions why five of seven restricted parks are in Sooke

Most Read