Bylaw complaint not a neighbourly way to resolve dispute

I’m very concerned about a pattern of incidents recently of people complaining to the Saanich bylaw office about their neighbours

I’m very concerned about a pattern of incidents recently of people complaining to the Saanich bylaw office about their neighbours without going to see them first directly. This affects myself and friends and neighbours.

My story is that I received a visit from a bylaw officer saying a complaint had been received about a pile of junk, a carport (illegal accessory dwelling) and an unlicensed vehicle on the property. I went around with the officer and was assured we were doing all the right things. The junk went to the dump within two days, the carport is being dismantled, the vehicle had already been removed.

But the underlying problems remain. Not of us being bad neighbours, quite the contrary.

Other people right around here have junk piles, carports, aggressive dogs, buildings built or renovated without permits, etc. as well as setting off firecrackers overnight, dealing drugs and so on. I don’t try to make their life difficult or, say, prevent their kids from enjoying the treehouse they just made. If I really saw a problem I would go talk with them and see what could be done.

That’s what I did when the neighbour’s son who sold me a vehicle misled me about repairs done, and then failed to come fix it as promised. That’s why it was sitting there so long. I’m not going to go sue him and make trouble for his parents, unless it’s an absolute last resort and I’ve talked to them and they wash their hands or are hostile. In the end he fessed up, to his credit, it just took a bit of time.

A lot of the junk was cleaned up from the park that isn’t even on the property. I didn’t like seeing that and thought others would appreciate it being gone too. I’m not a hero, most people I know around here help each other without making a big deal about it.

It is so easy for someone to start something and then it degenerates into tit-for-tat. I am writing because you have a key role in helping put a stop to behaviour that can really poison our neighbourhoods here in Saanich.

The community is only going to get more diverse and we need to be tolerant. Maybe the city can send out a bylaw newsletter so we all know what the standards are. Until then and after, give people the benefit of the doubt and try to find a solution with them first.

Adam Gottlieb



Just Posted

Federal government actions hurt Sooke hatchery fundraising efforts

Funding denial comes on the heels of fishing closures

SD62 student places third in province-wide French competition

12-year-old Sasha Zandieh won third with a speech on poet Pablo Neruda

Island athlete goes from hoop dreams to icy track

Cyrus Gray hopes to punch his ticket to Olympics in bobsleigh

Jesse Roper learns to create fire in the wild, in Sacred Knowledge web series

Ragnarock Studios production shares primitive skills with Islanders

Oak Bay researcher’s Canadian English dictionary goes to print

How an unknown American hobbyist sparked a Canadian dictionary

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read