After initially being unable to get a seconder for a motion to allow the Qualicum Beach Lawn Bowling Club to use pesticides on the greens, council passed the same motion.
Town staff returned the pesticide motion at Monday’s council meeting after Mayor Teunis Westbroek requested at the Oct. 23 meeting that council reconsider the motion, to allow the lawn bowling club to be exempt from the pesticide-use bylaw after a mould began to develop on the bowling greens.
At Monday’s meeting, planning director Luke Sales presented the amendment bylaw, which would exempt the lawn bowling club from the bylaw’s definition of “public land” to allow the use of pesticides as required to maintain its specialty turf.
Currently, only the Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Course is exempt.
Michael “Mick” Banks of the Qualicum Beach Lawn Bowling Club was a delegation earlier in the council meeting. He said club members have been in contact with town staff and let staff know the club has taken all preventative measures possible without the use of pesticides.
“Obviously, it’s not really working,” Banks said.
Next September, Banks said, the club is scheduled to host the Canadian Mixed Pairs Championships, adding the championship “obviously relies on the bowling green being perfect.
“However, due to the outbreak of this (mould), the greens are in desperate need of spray treatment before winter sets in,” Banks added. “If it can’t get done (before then), the greens may not recover before the spring and they could be rendered unviable due to this.”
Sales said there was an alternative for the bylaw to refer it back to staff with changes and create an application process for council to review future pesticide/fungicide application requests and that future approvals would be set for a period of time under specific conditions.
Westbroek said the alternative sounded intriguing.
“We’re not changing the bylaw to be permanent, but at least gives this organization a chance to try it out and for us to make sure we did it the right way,” Westbroek said.
Both councillors Barry Avis and Anne Skipsey said they agreed with the alternative.
Council ended up unanimously approving the first through third readings of the bylaw amendment for pesticide use, but not the alternative to create an application process.
Later in the meeting after discussing another bylaw, Westbroek confirmed with the rest of council that they knew they had voted for the original amendment and not the alternative, which councillors all confirmed they understood.