District of Lantzville sues firetruck and marijuana dispensary owner


WATCH: If you’ve driven the Island Highway north of Nanaimo you’ve probably seen it. A firetruck advertising a marijuana dispensary in Lantzville. The property owner now finds himself in the crosshairs of a civil lawsuit by the district of Lantzville. It alleges numerous bylaw infractions. Kendall Hanson reports.It’s unusual advertising that’s received a lot of attention. A marijuana dispensary sign placed on a firetruck ladder so thousands of passing motorists on the Island Highway see it each day.

It’s unusual advertising that’s received a lot of attention. As you’re driving south into Nanaimo you can see a marijuana dispensary sign placed on a firetruck ladder. Thousands of passing motorists on the Island Highway see it each day.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Stan Pottie, who owns the firetruck and dispensary. “Everywhere we go people know us for the firetruck. As far as I know, it’s not breaking any laws. You’re allowed to own a firetruck.”

The firetruck is part of a BC Supreme Court lawsuit filed by the District of Lantzville against Stanley Pottie who owns the two-acre property it sits on.

It says the firetruck was on the highways right of way.

Pottie says he’s since moved it back onto his property.

The focus of the lawsuit in on the marijuana dispensary, another building and 10 recreational vehicles on the property.

It says there has never been a building permit or occupancy permit for buildings outside of the house.

When questioned about not having those permits Pottie said, “I don’t know how to answer that.”

As for the RV’s, the lawsuit says the property is not zoned for an RV park, campground or recreational vehicle storage facility.

Pottie says there are 12 people living on the property.

“We’ve done everything we can to comply with the electrical inspector, the health inspector,” said Pottie. “We put in a new $50,000 septic system that far exceeds anything we have on the property here. So we’ve done everything to make it a safe healthy environment for everybody.”

But other business owners are taking exception.

“It’s not a matter of what’s he’s selling or how he’s selling it,” said Doug Parkhurst. “If he’s operating a commercial business he should be in a commercial area.”

Parkhurst, an accountant, says he supports the lawsuit “because if we’re not going to stand up for that kind of bylaw then why do we have commercial zoning? Why do we have commercial rates of tax?”

Lantzville Councillor Bob Colclough says he can’t discuss the case because it’s before the courts but he says bylaws exist for a reason and people need to abide by them.

Pottie says he’s glad he’s now being sued because he says a judge can decide what the proper outcome in this ongoing battle should be. In the meantime, he says he’s providing some much needed affordable housing.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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