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Cowichan Bay Residents Win Battle Over Gravel Processing-Director Gerry Giles 100 Percent Wrong! Updated

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger

Acting CAO Frank Raimondo told the Board of Directors yesterday afternoon that he had received the requested legal opinion that made it clear that they (Directors Giles, Walker, Chair Rob Hutchins and Frank Raimondo) were 100 percent wrong.

That was quite a mouthful after Cobble Hill Director Gerry Giles and Cowichan Bay’s representative Lori Iannidinardo banged heads at the last Electoral Area Services  over the matter of issuing a-Temporary Use Permit- (TUP)

They had argued that Oliver and Shelley Balme should have been allowed further  process to examine a Temporary use Permit-TUP that could have ended up allowing gravel processing on the Balmes farm in Cobble Hill, bordering Cowichan Bay.

Note that this meeting was not available through CVRD streaming or in video archives. They  consistently and deliberately pick and choose which meetings are to be made available for the public.

Cowichan Bay's Lori Ianidinardo stood against the old guard and won.

Cowichan Bay’s Lori Iannidinardo stood up her residents and won.

Directors Giles, Walker, Chair Rob Hutchins and Frank Raimondo had favoured the Balme’s efforts to process gravel through a Temporary Use Permit-TUP.

The zoning authority in Electoral areas is the elected CVRD Directors who conduct land use matters through the Electoral Service Committee.

The committee had voted 6-2 against allowing processing on the Balmes farmland.

The next night, June 11th, as Chair Lori Iannidinardo was preparing to read the resolution for final Board approval Board Chair Rob Hutchins  announced that he pulled it over staff concerns regarding the proper handling and process.

Staff’s concern and interpretation turned out to be Acting CAO Frank Raimondo.

Cobble Hill CVRD Director Gerry Giles lost another one.

Cobble Hill CVRD Director Gerry Giles lost another one.

Frank Raimondo-We were 100 percent wrong!

Frank Raimondo
We were 100 percent wrong!

Director Giles moved and Director Walker seconded a motion to send the matter off for a legal opinion.

They were mostly supported by the surprised and somewhat confused Directors who went along with it because of concerns expressed over lack of process.

Giles had argued that the process was flawed and that the applicants Oliver & Shelley Balme were denied a fair process in their bid to conduct full scale gravel processing. She added that this was against the laws of Natural Justice.

The Agricultural Land Commission-ALC- has approved extraction but local government are the deciders on further land use matters.

Ironically the South Cowichan Official Community Plan is specific in its clear direction banning such an undertaking on ALR farmland. This is deja vu all over again, they misread the Shawnigan OCP and Bylaws  when they insisted that a garbage and recycling depot (Eco Depot) could be built on A-1 zoned farmland.

That cost us big time and they didn’t stop until the court ruled against their actions. At least this time we did not have to take them to court!

3 strikesAnd, I almost forgot the contaminated soil cock-up with South Island Aggregates. They refused to use or beef up their bylaws, that one has been before the BC Environmental Appeal Board where it continues in July.

For Gerry Giles to chide anyone about flawed process is really a stretch.

That is three strikes! Too damn bad this isn’t a baseball game!

Cowichan Bay Director and Chair of the Electoral Area Services Committee (EASC) maintained that there had been a fair process, later supported by the CVRD’s legal opinion, and that the committee rejected the application so there were no grounds to continue further.

She came under fire for her stance and handling of the matter during the EASC when she dared to stand up to Director Giles in some tense debate.

Frankly it was one of the few times that this crop of Directors argued or debated about anything much.

The fact that Iannidinardo had the temerity to challenge the old order was both encouraging and refreshing.

Crow

Why didn’t they apologize?

Raimondo and Gerry had to eat crow publicly but still Raimondo continued trying to blame Lori Iannidinardo’s rude handling as the cause of the confusion. Frank you are an idiot!

He later admitted that two other TUP’s in North Oyster will have to be rescinded as they had not followed the proper process. They can’t blame Lori Iannidinardo for that one.

I recently watched both the EASC and General Meeting. Yes, they got a little testy on both sides, but that was nothing compared to a great many of the meetings (1993-2002) that we both sat through and participated in and Frank, you bloody well know that!

Raimondo was supposed to restructure and put the CVRD back into a more workable organization. It seems like he opted to being Gerry’s agent instead. It really has been blatant and still they lost another one!

Gravel Processing Sought By Balme-Ayre Farms

There will be no Gravel Processing on Balme-Ayre Farms

The residents in attendance at the CVRD meeting were elated and peppered CVRD officials with questions after the announcement. Their main point was why didn’t you listen to us! Everybody it seems was familiar with the bylaws except Raimondo, Giles, Walker and Hutchins.

Mark this one up for the good guys!  

So, the threat of a gravel processing operation is pretty much over. The only way forward now would be for the Balmes to apply to rezone the property to Industrial. That would be strongly opposed by the affected farms and residents and is an unlikely option.

It will be interesting to read the Cowichan News Leader and Cowichan Citizen’s take on this. Both papers editorials wrongly decried the lack of fair process as spun by Gerry Giles, although neither endorsed gravel processing.

BTW I received an audio version of the meeting and listening to it I can see why they did not run their video streaming or listen to the commentary. I will see if I can put it up on the blog later.

You might also be interested in these previous posts:

CVRD Process hits a new low-Directors decision hijacked

CVRD’s Frank Raimondo is a master of interpretation and manipulation of legal rules and regulations

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8 comments to
Cowichan Bay Residents Win Battle Over Gravel Processing-Director Gerry Giles 100 Percent Wrong! Updated

  • Larry Woodruff

    Well if everyone is aware of Gerry and her puppets, what happened at the last election? Why do we put up with this? The tax dollars wasted by Gerry are horrendous and now she puts Raimondo (her second in CH) on the payroll to echo her is so obiovious it hurts. We all know the parties with the strings and we know who is actually running things –yes every once in a while someone on the board does not agree with Gerry and speaks out — so next election lets support these directors and say good bye to the old guard!

  • Mario Iannidinardo

    Good job Mom! You always knew how to fight for what you believe in. Your opposition should have consulted with me first, i think i could have saved them some money. Your grandchildren and majority of the community will continue to be super appreciative of your services.

  • Marilyn Venturi

    Rick Spencer, the CVRD Board and administration may well draw the ire of the community members who actually care about happenings beyond their own back yard, but others are apathetic and easily swayed by rumour and innuendo propagated by the smooth-talking, long-pants-wearing “anti-Illuminati”. Thank you, Richard Hughes, for recognizing Director Iannidinardo for her honest and courageous action. As you say, her “temerity to challenge the old order was both encouraging and refreshing.”

  • James Gallagher

    Coming to theatres soon in a major theatre production entitled “The Puppetmaster”!

  • Rick Spencer

    You hit it on the nail in your third paragraph.
    Loren Duncan used to say, we (lowly directors at that time)wear the short pants and those with higher value and standing (ie. old guard) wear long pants.
    Anytime was always a good time to scold and correct if it did not fit what the ADMINSTRATION wanted.
    It was that way before, was that way with that idiot Jones and now they should play “bring in the clowns” before every meeting, audio only of course.
    Not joking about clowns, this CVRD board and admin is nothing more than a bad joke.
    Election time and we here a little bit of debate. Too long coming.
    Hey Frank, I bet your reading this, I hear Hughes may be running again. Can’t wait I bet!

  • Marilyn Venturi

    Thank you all!

  • James Gallagaher

    Frank Raimondo was complicit (knowingly or otherwise) in an ongoing attempt by Director Giles to manipulate staff, directors and constituents. She has again caused grief to her community and its neighbours, ignoring their pleas and all solid evidence of the illegality of her actions. She has deceived her community in promoting an industrial gravel extraction, fill and processing business under the guise of “Farmland Reclamation”. And Mr. Raimondo criticizes Director Iannidinardo for speaking strongly and standing up to passive/aggressive bullying that could very well have resulted in another costly law suit against the CVRD? Give the woman an apology and a medal!

  • Frank Raimondo stated: “In addition, the rapid-fire approach used by some of the committee members conflated various issues and raised procedural concerns. You have to be able to discern a rational process in order to determine that the rules are being followed.

    I’ll comment on this is that in the future, you need to reset your approach on contentious issues to one that’s basically reason, calm and fair, by all means with spirited engagement, but it makes it difficult when there’s increased attack and misrepresentation of motivation or purpose.”

    While having to concede the defeat of the Temporary Use Permit, it felt like Mr. Raimondo could not help but blame the chair and directors for bad manners, “Please go to your room and stand in the corner.”

    I saw no rapid fire approach. Debate was terse, but not rude or unmannerly.

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