Saanich woman getting closer to winning fight with district over jam stand

WatchA Saanich woman fighting to save her little jam stand may be a bit closer to winning. As Luisa Alvarez tells us, she's been granted a reprieve from the municipality - at least for now.

Adjusting the last bit of inventory from her jam stand. Katherine Little is now cautiously optimistic about the future.

That’s after a meeting with Saanich’s director of bylaws.

“He’s made his decision we are allowed to continue operating,” said Little.

She was going to have to close her roadside business this Thursday because it was in a residential area and Saanich had received complaints.

But now the municipality says they are going to take another look.

“He’s committed to us that he was going to do a thorough review of our file,” said Little.

It comes after an outpouring of support including hundreds of signatures and letters.

READ MORE: Saanich woman fighting to keep jam stand open after district told her it has to go.

Little said it’s not a win but after a discouraging first meeting with bylaw official, this time at least she feels listened to.

“We are finally working with them and not against them and that was very encouraging,” said Little.

Regardless if her jam stand is allowed to stay, Little says she’s won’t stop fighting until there is a change in the policy.

Especially since finding out Victoria welcomed residential food stands in 2016 and is even hoping for more.

“We’ve got 12 right now and we are aiming to double that in the next few years to 24,” said Mayor of Victoria Lisa Helps.

“It’s $25 so it’s a very low barrier to entry and again it creates community and puts a little bit of extra money in peoples pockets.”

“We need to catch up to where Victoria has already progressed to,” said Little.

Victoria’s policy only allows the sale of raw unprocessed goods like fruits and vegetables.

But Little recognizes Victoria’s needs are different and wants Saanich to adopt their own policy that is in line with the needs of a more rural community.

“It’s working in Victoria and it’s working very well so I can’t see why it can’t work for Saanich, ” said Little.

She’ll be making her case to Saanich council on June 17 at the same council meeting where Saanich Coun. Nathalie Chambers is set to bring a motion calling for the bylaw to change.

Luisa AlvarezLuisa Alvarez

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