Saanich woman fighting to keep jam stand forced to close while council decides if bylaw will change

WatchA Saanich woman fighting to keep her road-side jam stand open has lost her appeal with the district and she will have to close. But as Luisa Alvarez tells there may still be hope for her stand and others in the future.


Katherine Little’s raspberries are beginning to ripen and it’s time to start picking. She’s selling them at her stand but won’t be able to for long.

“This was something that I used to help me with some of my depression issues and PTSD and to think that it’s going to be gone it’s pretty devastating,” said Little, holding back tears.

Little opted to fight after a neighbour complained and bylaw officers threatened to shut her down. She gathered hundreds of letters in support as well as signatures on a petition but that didn’t matter.

“It’s another massive blow to this farm stand,” said Little.

Monday night council voted unanimously to have staff study the idea of changing the bylaw and report back with option and implications.

“There could be value in giving our staff some leeway and allowing them to take a broader look at this,” said Councillor Ned Taylor.

But in the meantime, the little jam stand must shut down and since council did not direct staff to finish the report by a certain date there is no telling when there will be a long term resolution.

“This is just step one, which could take months I don’t know obviously there are more pressing things out there than a little jam stand,” said Little.

Little did ask council for an exemption to stay open in the meantime but she says they didn’t even consider it.

“Even just to talk about the actual permit and what ramifications may be they wouldn’t even entertain the idea of opening a dialogue on it,” said Little.

Councillors decided that behind closed doors which took Little by surprise. She says she spoke to several councillors beforehand and thought she had their support. Now she feels mislead.

“This was our last appeal this was to city council who had the power to do this and they chose not to and we don’t know why,” said Little.

The Little Stand is shutting down June 22 at midnight.

Luisa AlvarezLuisa Alvarez

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