Letter to the editor
Regarding the Backyard Chef Issue
If you don’t know of the Backyard Chef issue it is because you never read a newspaper, upload a blog, or listen to local news. The couple who run a food business from a one acre farm, half way between Oliver and Osoyoos, wish to be allowed to be licensed as a restaurant.
This usage is not allowed on a residential property!
So, Mr. Chris Hoodyonk, on behalf of the owners of the property, is applying for a (TUP) Temporary Use Permit, which is a function of the RDOS but which takes some time.
This applicant has already been afforded an ‘emergency’ meeting of the local Advisory Planning Commission. The emergency was that the business had been ‘shut down’ by the RDOS which issued a Stop Work Order on the construction of a patio on the site.
Now the truth. The applicant has run a business from the premises for over seven years, without a valid restaurant license or a liquor license. (Yes, I know, I read all those travel writers’ columns about this.)
At Backyard Chef they do not sell wine; they allow patrons to bring their own and consume it on the
premises. This is a violation of the Liquor Control and Licensing Act. I do not know the intricacies of the
licensing provisions for restaurants, but this business is not licenced under those provisions either.
Mr. Hoodyonk applied to the RDOS for a building permit to allow the construction of a patio to allow
food service, at his premises, during the COVID-19 crisis. (Yes, the restriction on inside dining is now lifted, so the question is moot.)
The RDOS refused to grant a building permit because the patio could not be constructed as an adjunct to a restaurant, because in fact – no restaurant officially ‘exists’ on that property. Hence a Stop Work Order being issued on the patio construction.
Now is when the issue gets real.
Mr. Hoodyonk has given media interviews wherein he states that his business has been closed by the RDOS, and he and his wife cannot make a living on their farm, and can’t employ staff, and can’t buy fresh ‘ve’g from local farms, and and, and……. This is not true.
The RDOS stopped the building of an illegal patio. (The business no longer needs a patio to carry on the same business it has carried on for seven years. Inside dining only.) They have not been stopped from pursuing their livelihood, in any way, by the RDOS.
This is not a case of ‘Big Bureaucracy’ being mean to the little guy.
This is a case of the little guy flaunting the rules then getting whiny and snivelling when his inaccuracies about his business caught up with him.
Whiny and snivelling is never a good look.
We spell wine, in this area, without the H.
Jessica Murphy is the senior member of the Area C – Planning Commission, a former lawyer, from a pioneer family. A respected member of the community.