Industrial zoning loopholes for Duke Point incinerator

After 64 years the industrial zoning bylaw in Nanaimo has developed some strange holes. The ‘condition of use’ clause is missing in Nanaimo’s industrial zoning bylaw which affects the Duke Point garbage incinerator site.

No restrictions on industrial activity at Duke Point
At the last council meeting Mayor Ruttan stated in his report that “…Duke Point is correctly zoned for that type of business [waste-to-energy incinerator].”

Because there is no ‘condition of use’ clause for the property at Duke Point, any type of industrial activity could occur there. How did this happen?

Duke Point Incinerator timeline:

  • 2010: Metro Vancouver sent out requests for waste-to-energy incineration proposals.
  • 2011:  Seaspan purchased land at Duke Point.
  • 2011: City of Nanaimo eliminated the industrial zoning bylaw ‘conditions of use’ governing Seaspan’s property with the current Industrial Zoning Bylaw 4500.

The current Nanaimo City councillors where elected November 15, 2011. Some were re-elected, such as Mayor Ruttan, who has been Mayor since 2008. Were our elected officials aware the ‘conditions of use’ clause was omitted in Nanaimo’s current industrial zoning bylaw?

Restrictions on home-based businesses
Yet, at the same time the ‘conditions of use’ clause was kept in place for Nanaimo home-based businesses.  Bylaw 6.20.4 states:

“The home-based business shall not discharge or emit odourous, toxic or noxious matters or vapours, heat, glare, noise, vibration, smoke, dust, effluent or other emission hazard, electrial interference or radiation across any lot line.”

Why is there a ‘condition of use’ for home-based businesses and not one for industrial businesses, especially at Duke Point?