Qualicum Beach town council voted this week to permit an overheight fence at a home on Judges Row — and in doing so exposed a possible flaw in their bylaw.
John Larson, talking on behalf of the owners of the residence at 460 Judges Row, said the stone wall in question had been built in innocent ignorance of the bylaw, which states fences can only be built to a height of one metre. The wall was built the two-metres high.
Larson noted the owners immediately complied with a stop work order and have been working with the town to come up with a resolution.
He said the problem was exacerbated by the fact that while the bylaw doesn’t allow fences higher than a metre, natural hedges can grow to any height at all. He noted there are several other homes with fences higher than one meter in the area, which, as it tuns out, were installed before the bylaw was enacted.
The property, he said, sits at the end of Judges Row, so vehicles using the turnaround shine their lights directly into the yard.
Planner Luke Sales agreed that the owners had not deliberately tried to circumvent the bylaw and recommended a compromise wherein one foot would be taken off the top of the wall — a task he called a significant undertaking.
Council agreed and passed the resulting motion to grant a development variance permit unanimously.