Saanich approves variance permit for Howard the Gnome

Saanich approves variance permit for Howard the Gnome
The District of Saanich has approved a development variance permit for Howard the gnome to stand temporarily at Galey Farms.

Saanich council has given a thumbs up to Howard the Gnome.

In its meeting Monday night, the district approved a development variance permit to allow the gnome to stand at the Galey Farms property in Saanich.

Howard the Gnome is 7.91 metres tall and is the world’s largest gnome, but it is 16 inches above the legal height limit in Saanich.

Howard spent 20 years waving to drivers passing through Nanoose Bay after it was built in 1998.

But after ownership of the land exchanged, the gnome’s owners were told Howard would be torn down if they didn’t find a new home.

Rob Galey of Galey Farms was awarded the gnome in March.

A Saanich planning report Aug. 12 recommended the permit be approved saying the “accessory structure is proposed to be installed seasonally for Galey Farm’s Fall Harvest Festival.”

Howard is undergoing significant improvements which will be revealed to the public this fall.

Galey said his team has given the gnome lips and the ability to wave and blink.

Howard is also expected to get eyelashes.

Once the makeover is complete, Howard will stand along the farm’s train tracks next to the pumpkin patch waving to riders as they pass by.

The gnome will be rolled out for the fall season but won’t be a permanent addition to the farm.

The Agricultural Land Commission only allows Howard to stand on a temporary basis.


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