As the Local Trust Committee (LTC) is in the middle of an Official Community Plan (OCP) review, it certainly would have the right to do a zoning review of the Gabriola gun club as per the recent request by gun club neighbours. Instead however, the committee has compromised, and proposes to, possibly, someday, look into creating a definition limiting what may occur at a shooting range.
The fact that this is a compromise may not be recognised by everyone or make anyone happy – compromises seldom do. Nevertheless, it was the right thing to do, and the very predicament in which the club finds itself shows that an outline of what uses the community believes should be permitted at the club is overdue.
Of course, as the club is grandfathered, that definition will likely result in moral suasion only – a type of authority which is likely to have limited impact when it comes to land-use behaviour – as is shown by the blossoming of shoreline intrusions and illegal dwellings even though they are supposedly subject to actual enforcement.
At the last LTC meeting, gun club Vice-president Paul Metcalfe did express concern that an injunction requested by its neighbours might force the club to cease operations long enough for them to lose their grandfathered status. As Trustee Gisele Rudischer pointed out however, the LTC does not expect to get to their long list of Land Use Bylaw amendments any time in the near future. So the danger of the club being required to abide by the community’s wishes really depends on whether the glacial speed of the court process is slower than the snail’s pace at which the OCP review is proceeding.
Bookies might be interested in taking bets on which will finish first, but only those who enjoy watching paint dry are likely to pay much attention to the race itself.
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