Stop work order issued to Foundation Organics

Operation ordered by ALC to cease accepting, processing or removing anything from the property

The Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) issued an official stop work order to Stanhope Farm and Foundation Organics late last week.

The order was given Friday, Jan. 31, officially prohibiting the operation from accepting, processing or removing anything off the property.

The farm will still be able to accept farm inputs created offsite, like new animal bedding material and feed.

The order came down from the ALC’s Chief Executive Officer Richard Bullock.

Bullock also requested Stanhope provide a response to various people’s requests for information from the farm as well as provide a nutrient management plan to the ALC by Feb. 28.

“Once the Agricultural Land Commission has received, reviewed and commented on the information provided by you and your representatives in response to the inquiries made by me and my staff, consideration may be given to the rescission or variance of this stop work order and the recommencement of certain operations, if warranted,” read Bullock’s letter to Gordon and Robert Rendle, owners of Stanhope.

In December, the Capital Regional District charged the farm with new public nuisance offences under the Composting Facilities Regulation Bylaw.

On Jan. 20, B.C. Supreme Court upheld the CRD’s suspension of Foundation Organics’ operating license.

The suspension followed hundreds of complaints to the municipality, the Capital Regional District and the Agricultural Land Commission from residents in Central Saanich and numerous warning notices from the CRD regarding foul odours emanating from the facility.

Farm owners now have 60 days to appeal the ALC’s latest order.