August 04, 2015 - 2:30 PM
KELOWNA - A local radio control flying club says the District of Lake Country is trying to run them out of town despite a court ruling that says they can stay.
The Kelowna Ogopogo Radio Controllers Association moved from Kelowna to a farmer’s field in Lake Country two years ago. Club member Rick Dawdy told Global Okanagan they have been unfairly hassled by district bylaw ever since.
“I really think it’s revenge,” Dawdy says of $1,300 in tickets bylaw officers issued to club members over one weekend. “When we got the case won, that we were allowed to fly here, it seemed that (bylaw) was picking on us because Lake Country had to pay out money to us."
In October 2013, a judge ruled members of the association were breaking a municipal bylaw by flying their radio-controlled planes from agricultural-zoned land but three judges from the B.C. Court of Appeal overturned the judgment, concluding the club's activities are permitted.
The unanimous Appeal Court decision says there is no evidence the club's activities are disturbing the farmland.
Despite the ruling, however, Dawdy says bylaw officers showed up at a three day event last weekend — and they weren’t there for the aerobatics. He says members were fined for illegal camping.
"They were here every single day," he says.
Dawdy requested all 13 of the $100 tickets be put under his name so that he could fight them in court.
“Some guys only get four days off and they come here,” he says. “And they get a ticket? That’s not saying very nice things about Lake Country.”
While the Lake Country bylaw does not specifically forbid camping on agricultural land, it is not listed as an acceptable use. Dawdy hopes that by going to court he will send a message on behalf of the other members.
“I’d just like it to go away and let us enjoy our hobby.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015