British Columbia

Roadside jam stand in Saanich, B.C., allowed to temporarily operate

A woman from Saanich, B.C., who was told to shut down her roadside jam stand this week because it violated bylaws has been given a short reprieve.

Katherine Little had until June 6 to pack up her stand, but the District of Saanich is revisiting her case

Katherine Little says her jam business has allowed her to combat post-traumatic stress disorder, which she suffered during her former career in law enforcement. (CHEK News)

A woman from Saanich, B.C., who was told to shut down her roadside jam stand this week because it violated bylaws has been given a short reprieve.

Katherine Little had until June 6 to pack up The Little Stand, a jam stand that she's operated for the past year outside her home on Queensbury Avenue, a quiet street near a park and golf course.

The District of Saanich said Little was selling her jams on municipal property, which isn't zoned for business use.

It also said it had received complaints that the stand had signs up on street and hydro poles.

Little collected 700 signatures in support of her business, which she delivered to the mayor's office last week, and started a petition calling on the district to reverse its decision.

'Out of date' bylaws

On Monday, the District of Saanich's bylaw director extended Little's compliance deadline as he reviews her case to make sure the bylaws were properly enforced.

"However, it's important to note that there is no indication that processes were not followed at this stage," District of Saanich spokesperson Kelsie McLeod said on Wednesday.

Little said she's optimistic about the update, but wants the city to revamp bylaws that she calls out of date.

She said Coun. Nathalie Chambers will be tabling a motion to council on June 17 that would permit roadside stands like hers to operate.

The move would mirror efforts in the neighbouring city of Victoria, where vendors are allowed to operate food stands as long as the products are grown on the same property.

Little started by selling raspberries, peaches and blackberries growing on her property. She later offered jams, jellies, salsa, chutney and antipasto. (CHEK News)

"I just question why Saanich, which is considered the agricultural part of this community, is so far behind Victoria?" Little said.

"It's time for us to step up."

Little said she's fielded offers from bakeries and cafes in the area to sell her home-grown products, which include 17 varieties of jams, chutney and antipasto.

She expects to get an update on her case within a week.

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