Katherine Little won a temporary victory in her fight with the District of Saanich over her roadside stand selling jam. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich jam stand facing closure gets short reprieve

Katherine Little had until June 6 to shut down stand after bylaw complaint

A Saanich woman won a temporary victory in her fight with the District of Saanich over her roadside stand selling jam.

Katherine Little said Monday on her Instagram feed the municipality has committed itself to a “complete review” of the bylaw complaint against her and the legislation behind it.

Saanich had initially given Little until June 6 to comply with the order to shut down the stand after one of her neighbours had filed a bylaw complaint that focuses on two elements of Little’s operations: its signage (a sign placed on a hydro-pole since removed and a sandwich-board style sign which has remained in place) and the actual stand.

But this deadline has now disappeared after a Monday meeting between Little and Brent Reems, Saanich’s director of building, bylaw, licensing and legal services.

“We have been permitted to remain open with the one sign at the end of the road until he [Reems] contacts us with his decision and [rationale] behind it,” she said.

RELATED: Saanich woman won’t get jammed over stand that serves as therapy

Kelsie McLeod, a Saanich spokesperson, said it is important to note that Saanich’s zoning bylaw and its application have not changed.

“However, Mr. Reems will be reviewing the file to ensure our bylaw enforcement processes were followed appropriately,” said McLeod. “Saanich staff are available to answer any questions the owner may have about the file or the bylaw.”

She added later that the review will take about a week.

Little has also received political support, after Coun. Nathalie Chambers called for bylaw revisions that would allow roadside stands such as Little’s, in line with legislation in Victoria.

The origin of the operation dates back to July 2018, when her husband built the stand as a birthday present at their Queensbury Avenue home.

For Little though, the stand is more than just an enterprise. Little worked for Canada Borders Services in Vancouver for 18 years before suffering injuries in the line of duty six years ago that left her physically unable to work and with post-traumatic stress disorder. “I have been mentally and physically retired,” she said.

The stand, however, gave her a reason to keep going, and the response from the community to her offerings has only encouraged her to keep going. “This helped, and I didn’t think it was going to,” she said. “If this wasn’t working, if nobody was buying the jam, and if nobody wanted the salsa, and if nobody was writing those little notes [of support], it wouldn’t be here.”

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