LAKE COUNTRY — The courts say the flyers can stay but the District of Lake Country says the battle isn’t over.
The B.C. Court of Appeal ruled this week that a local remote-control flying club can stay at its current location.
The District wants the club to moveon saying neighbours are complaining about the noise and that the location is suited for agriculture — not remote-controlled planes.
But the flyers say the District is wasting its time and taxpayer’s money.
“Not sure why they’re driving it so hard. It’s a pretty harmless activity out here,” says Todd Davis, President of the Kelowna Ogopogo Radio Controllers Association.
But Lake Country mayor, James Baker, says the flyers are in denial.
“It’s a serious hobby. There are people who get a lot of enjoyment out of building these replicas. But if you have complaints then you should do something about it. They said: Oh, we don’t have any complaints.”
Neighour to the flying club, Dale Collins, is one of them doing the complaining. He says that because of the planes, he can’t raise his chickens who are terrified of them.
“As of this October I’m going to lose my farmer’s status because I can’t raise my meat birds.”
But the flyers say they’re not buying it.
“Chickens are not that fragile,” says Davis.
Collins says the judge who sided with the flyers is out of touch.
“You know what I would like to do is go to that judge’s address while he’s having a barbeque in his backyard. And I would like to go there with my gas powered weed-eater and my chainsaw and hang over his fence and show him exactly what I live with on a daily basis.”
And while the squabbling continues, the legal bills are piling up.
“In the range of $60,000,” says Baker. “People are saying that’s a waste of money. Well, certainly it is but people’s livehood are being affected and they’re asking the community to enforce the bylaws that we have for that sort of nuisance,” says Baker.
He says he’s going to ask the Agriculture Land Commission to review its policy on allowing planes on agriculture land and whether remote controlled planes fits within its guidelines.