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[Central Saanich] Stanhope Farms Compost Facility| U/C


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#1 Bob Fugger

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 09:33 AM

Recent kerfuffle in the news regarding an application by a Central Saanich farm that wants to add a semi-commercial compost facility to its farming operation (i.e., mixed farm/retail use). Stanhope Farms was part of the Island Farms collective, before it was sold off to Saputo, and they are not currently carrying out dairy operations.

So the neighbours are, of course, up in arms, because of the potential for trucks on Old East & Tanner Road (which were already using the road, because of the farming operation). Notwithstanding the fact that farming has been going on at Stanhope for over 100 years, the neighbours feel that their right to quiet enjoyment is being infringed. You know, because they bought in a farming community and the farm wants to conduct farming operations.

One of the neighbours is none other than Burton Cummings, who was on CBC Radio this morning, all whipped up into a froth. Apparently, Burton Cummings loves the environment, but not when a sustainable operation like composting occurs on his street. Cummings appeared to slander the farm owners, when he flat out stated that the individuals associated with the farms break laws. Repeatedly.

He also fully admits to prostituting his celebrity and recently bestowed Order of Canada to bring this issue to light, because greedy families like the one that runs Stanhope Farms must be stopped. This has absolutely nothing to do with his personal property rights. Totally nothing to do with that.

Central Saanich Mayor Jack Marr has gone on record stating that there is nothing the municipality can do, as the land is in the ALR and that Stanhope Farms are not breaking any laws. Public Meeting Friday night at Central Saanich Hall to discuss.

#2 gumgum

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 10:05 AM

Yeah I heard that interview this morning.
Before I knew who I was listening to I was asking myself "Who the hell does this guy think he is?" He went on and on about how great he was and that he wouldn't stand for this injustice. He also mentioned all the poor deer and rabbits in the area.
He came off as quite the dink.

#3 Holden West

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 10:17 AM

They showed this on CHEK news last night. This isn't farmer brown mixing compost with a pitchfork and wheelbarrow, these are industrial-sized dump trucks going back and forth. The neighbours are saying the turns are so wide their property is being damaged.

Here's the TC story.

I support composting but they could compromise on a suitable traffic routing.
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#4 Bob Fugger

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 10:27 AM

They showed this on CHEK news last night. This isn't farmer brown mixing compost with a pitchfork and wheelbarrow, these are industrial-sized dump trucks going back and forth. The neighbours are saying the turns are so wide their property is being damaged.

Here's the TC story.

I support composting but they could compromise on a suitable traffic routing.


I can see where the neighbours are coming from re: damaging property; however, they don't want the composting facility there. At all. Period. I know for a fact that those trucks aren't new to the compost operations, and that commercial vehicles (generally Class 3) have been going in and out of the property for years, as the farm runs excavation and hay operations, as well. All of the sudden, the same commercial trucks that have been used for those operations will be used for composting. But they were never an issue before? It's not volume, as the facility hasn't even been built, yet.

I believe that there is a proposed solution of running the trucks on Lochside via Island View Road; but the same neighbours are still complaining about that, even though it solves their immediate traffic issues. They are worried about the tranquility of the valley. BS. They are worried about the potential for compost stink. Which again, is irrational: it was a dairy farm up until a couple of years ago. Cows trump compost in the stink department.

#5 Bernard

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 11:17 AM

This sort of opposition to farming drives me nuts. People keep saying they want to retain farming but then people living near the farms start complaining when people are serious about farming.

If you buy a house close to farms, you have to expect farming to go on. Trucks and farms go together. Farms and composting go together. There is no shortage of places to live that are not near farms. I have no sympathy for people that live close to farms and then complain about it.

#6 Holden West

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 11:38 AM

Cows trump compost in the stink department.


Let's see a pig or mushroom farm. That'll give them something worthwhile to complain about.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#7 scaaty

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 11:15 PM

It's all well and good you sit on your fat backsides and condemn our neighbourhood for not wanting commercial dump trucks driving up and down our narrow country road all day all week long. None of us have a problem with having a composte farm instead of a diary farm what we don't want is the traffic. There is not enough room for one of these trucks and any other vehicle to pass on this road and they start just after 6 am and don't finish until 5 pm or later. the farm owner has thumbed his nose at all of his neighbours and does what he wants. Almost everyone on this street has a garden and we use composte so we see nothing wrong with the farm becoming a composte facility. The owner says his farm will use all the composte on his own land. Amazing that 61 acres could possibly use the mountain that is now on the farm, especially since all they grow is hay. We could all go back to the peaceful neighbourhood we were if they build their own access road to their farm instead of using our country road for what will most likely become a commercial enterprise.

#8 Bob Fugger

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 08:47 AM

It's all well and good you sit on your fat backsides and condemn our neighbourhood for not wanting commercial dump trucks driving up and down our narrow country road all day all week long. None of us have a problem with having a composte farm instead of a diary farm what we don't want is the traffic. There is not enough room for one of these trucks and any other vehicle to pass on this road and they start just after 6 am and don't finish until 5 pm or later. the farm owner has thumbed his nose at all of his neighbours and does what he wants. Almost everyone on this street has a garden and we use composte so we see nothing wrong with the farm becoming a composte facility. The owner says his farm will use all the composte on his own land. Amazing that 61 acres could possibly use the mountain that is now on the farm, especially since all they grow is hay. We could all go back to the peaceful neighbourhood we were if they build their own access road to their farm instead of using our country road for what will most likely become a commercial enterprise.


Are you kidding me? The entire existence for the "country road," as you put it, was to service the farms - not your idealized vision of peaceful farmland. It is a moot point, however: the farmer has proposed two alternate routes to the existing one. It's not about the trucks or the traffic - it's about your perception of what having a compost facility would do to your property value. Well, tough tamales. The fact is, you bought in an agricultural area and it is ignorant to assume that you can bend the farm's practices to suit your will.

Would you like to know what I would do if I was the farmer? As a gigantic SCREW YOU to my neighbours, I would cancel the plans for the compost facility and start the dairy business back up. And I don't mean a few dozen heads of cattle - I mean run it to the full capacity of 999 milking heads, plus the additional thousand or so bulls that the zoning allows. Plus, as mentioned above, pigs and mushrooms. What would you say to the increase in the traffic, then? "Listen, stop farming so much, I can't hear the crickets in the late afternoon sun." You would be begging for the peace and tranquility of a compost facility.

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#9 gumgum

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 09:02 AM

Farmers in the area are very hard working for little to no profit. And they live amongst the more wealthy in the country. Many have reach a level of wealth where they don't have to work in order to eat. I think this the biggest issue.

#10 Bernard

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 11:11 AM

It's all well and good you sit on your fat backsides and condemn our neighbourhood for not wanting commercial dump trucks driving up and down our narrow country road all day all week long. None of us have a problem with having a composte farm instead of a diary farm what we don't want is the traffic. There is not enough room for one of these trucks and any other vehicle to pass on this road and they start just after 6 am and don't finish until 5 pm or later. the farm owner has thumbed his nose at all of his neighbours and does what he wants. Almost everyone on this street has a garden and we use composte so we see nothing wrong with the farm becoming a composte facility. The owner says his farm will use all the composte on his own land. Amazing that 61 acres could possibly use the mountain that is now on the farm, especially since all they grow is hay. We could all go back to the peaceful neighbourhood we were if they build their own access road to their farm instead of using our country road for what will most likely become a commercial enterprise.


1) Farming is a commercial enterprise.

2) The land is in the ALR, and has been so since 1973, so for close to 40 years everyone has known it was going to be there for farming. ALR land does not mean bucolic landscapes, it means protecting land for commercial agricultural use.

3) 61 acres could very well make use of an amount of compost that would stun you.

4) The road is the responsibility of Central Saanich and not the farmer. The houses were built along the road knowing it was an access to a commercial farm and therefore no one should be surprised in the least to see dump trucks for a few weeks when they are building something.

5) Be thankful the farm is not in blueberries and using propane cannons. Or is 60 acres of greenhouses with a large heating plant and bright lights 24/7. Or that they are not spreading liquid manure on the land, which they would do if they were going to grow corn.

#11 Baro

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 11:13 AM

Hey guys I bought a house next to an existing hospital, I understand we need health services but I find it very rude the hospital has ignored the request from the new houses in the area to not have emergency vehicles coming and going late at night. On top of that I worry about the ghosts of people that die in the hospital lowering my property values. I had an idea in my head about what living next to a hospital would be like, and reality doesn't match, so can someone please help force my selfish misconceptions onto others, isn't that what city governments are for?
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#12 Dylan Leblanc

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 02:27 PM

Let's keep this debate civil guys, and be respectful of those with differing viewpoints.

#13 Bob Fugger

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 07:01 PM

Hmmmm, I don't really understand how my post was moderated, but the initial post insulting the rest of stands for all to read. Anyways, I'm at the public meeting right now the the NIMBYist rationalization against this project by immediate neighbours is just hilarious. Someone actually said won't someone think of our pets?

#14 Coreyburger

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 10:51 PM

I don't have a huge issue with the compost facility, the issue I have is using the Lochside trail as an access road for large trucks. A few slow moving tractors is a far cry from large, fast dump trucks driving up and down this fairly narrow (once you include trucks) road. Not to mention what they will do to the road surface, making it hell to bike. And sorry, no compost facility is going to bring in the kind of revenue the Lochside trail does.

#15 scaaty

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 11:14 PM

I too was at the meeting and funny you didn't mention that there were quite a few people who had no objection to the facility but still object to the traffic which will continue after the facility is built. I for one understand how hard farmers work but I too work hard for a living. As to this being a farm road that may be so but it wasn't built for dump trucks.We were all aware that this was farm country that is why we moved here. In the years we have been here there has never been an objection of regular farm vehicles travelling the road. What do you suggest we do, move? This whole thing could have been avoided if the farmer had invited his neighbors to an open house and explained what was going to be built, a lot of this melee could have been avoided. If the information that we have been given had been consistent instead of constant amendments there might be more believeability. All we want is for the traffic to be routed another way. Mr Fugger do you live in our neighbourhood, either on Lochside ,Tanner or Old East Road

#16 Bob Fugger

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 08:07 AM

First off, where I live is irrelevant - but let's say for sake of argument that I frequent the area and believe a composting facility like this benefits the entire region.

Now, Just so I understand your logic re: dump trucks, if Lochside or Old East had been constructed before automobiles, would you want to restrict the farm to horse & buggy traffic? Farming evolves, just like most other businesses. The tools of the trade need to keep up with the time. As mentioned last night, the farmers could slap farm plates on the vehicles and drive them whereever they wanted. Nor doing that shows that the farmer is going out of his way to address concerns.

As for commnication, it's a two way street. Since you had such grave concerns, what did the farmer tell you when you called him up or asked for a tour of the site? Oh, right: you never did pick up the phone. When the farm manager stood up and did a bit of a mea culpa for not thinking of holding an open house, he did qualify that by asking if he would need to hold an open house if they changed cow types, or decided to grow carrots instead of hay. I $hit you not that one woman yelled out, "But we don't care about that!" Ladies and gentlemen, I rest my case.

The most astounding part of last night was how seemingly intelligent, functional adults lose all faculty of logic and reason when it comes stuff they don't like in their neighbourhood. If the biggest complaint was lack of communication, well, now there was a public meeting and everything is out in the open. The farmer again reached out and said, "Come on by, give us the opportunity to address your concerns." I will be shocked if a single resident from last night will take him up on his offer.

#17 Bob Fugger

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 08:17 AM

I don't have a huge issue with the compost facility, the issue I have is using the Lochside trail as an access road for large trucks. A few slow moving tractors is a far cry from large, fast dump trucks driving up and down this fairly narrow (once you include trucks) road. Not to mention what they will do to the road surface, making it hell to bike. And sorry, no compost facility is going to bring in the kind of revenue the Lochside trail does.


What revenue does the Lochside Trail bring the farmer? Zilch. The fact is that Lochside Trail goes through private property (there are signs on the trail stating as much); and the only way the CRD was able to finish the Trail was through the benevolence of farmowners and with the caveat - insisted upon by the Agricultural Land Commission - that first and foremost, Lochside Drive and Trail are for farming purposes. If there is a conflict between farming activities and trail users, the farmers MUST be accommodated, first. Those are the rules of the game and the risk that the CRD took when building the Trail along that route. The initial staff reports back in the 2000s identified that particular stretch of trail as problematic and likely a source of future conflict. I know that the farmer absolutely does not want to shut the trail access. But if Tanner is a problem, and Old East is a problem, how the funk is the farmer supposed to get trucks to his land? Airlift? C'mon, the guys's gotta eat.

#18 gumgum

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 08:51 AM

As far as I'm concerned, Lochside is a farming road that seconds as a trail. Not the other way around.
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#19 Mike K.

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 11:05 AM

^I second that as well. Farming first, bicycles a distant second.

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#20 Nparker

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 12:10 PM

Put me down as another in agreement. Let's face it the trail wouldn't even be there if it wasn't for the generosity of the farmers.

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