Posted On June 25, 2020 By In Regulars With 21 Views

Ask Seaside – Questions? Queries? Let Us Find the Answers for You!

by Lara Gladych –

Who do you turn to when you have a question? Is it Google or Siri, maybe Alexa? At Seaside Magazine we are fortunate to know local experts in all the fields (or we’ll know someone who knows someone), so next time you have a question, Ask Seaside! Each month I’ll take your quandaries and queries and do the research for you. Send your questions to

Q: I know I’ve likely missed the boat on planting summer veggies, but is there anything I can plant now for late summer/fall harvest?

A: I asked the knowledgeable staff at Buckerfield’s what their suggestion would be. Niko, one of the gardening associates and a farmer himself, had a couple of suggestions. His first thought was to go with squash, and to use a hardened-off plant starter rather than starter seed in order to expedite the process. At the Keating store, they sell squash seedlings which come from a local farmer who also uses their soils (so they know what these plants are grown with). Squash seedlings planted now will yield a late fall or early winter harvest, and there are many varieties to choose from. She cautions that this is a large plant that takes up a lot of garden space – something important to consider. 

Q: It looks like I’m going to be spending a lot more time in my garden this year! I’d like to build a deck and some sort of structure to provide shade. How do I know what I can build in my garden without needing a permit? Or do all structures need building permits?

A: I wanted to get a general sense of the rules in our districts, so I went to experts from both Town of Sidney and District of Central Saanich. As you can imagine, both noted the importance of contacting your municipality prior to erecting any structure. 

According to Kevin Webber, Planning Technician with the Town of Sidney: “the Town has regulations regarding the size and siting of all buildings and structures within the Town, including but not limited to … decks, sheds, pergolas [and] fences. Regulations can be found within the Zoning Bylaw (No. 2015) on the Town’s website.” He says that the type and location of the structure in question will determine whether or not a permit is required, as well as the type of permit, should you need one.  

Jarret Matanowitsch, Director of Planning and Building Services with District of Central Saanich, told me that structures built with wood, such as a deck or any roofed structure, require a permit. If it’s an open structure without a roof, or an accessory building less than 10 square metres in area, compliance with the building code is not likely required, but you would still need to meet the zoning regulations. 

Again, the stressor is placed on always contacting your local authority to make certain you’re acting in accordance with the regulations.

Q: We’ve been doing some spring cleaning at home and have many things we would like to donate. What can we do with them?

I contacted Glenys Cavers, Director of Volunteer and Seniors Services with Beacon Community Services, who provided me with very helpful guidelines for household item donations. Firstly, she says to please sort your donations and ensure that all items are clean and in good working order. All parts must be included, such as puzzles with all their pieces, or reusable containers with all the correct lids. Please consider whether an item is sellable: if it is dirty, stained, ripped or damaged, it should not be donated. 

Glenys asks that people take the time to consult their website
( to find out what goods are and aren’t accepted,
and try their best to consider the guidelines above, as items that are not sellable cost money to dispose of, which ultimately takes money away from community programs. Beacon Community Services operates five thrift shops on the Saanich Peninsula and is in the process of putting together protocols to keep staff, customers and volunteers safe. They will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily to allow for extra cleaning.



Your West Coast Culture. A magazine about the people and places that make the Saanich Peninsula the little piece of paradise we call home.

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