Goldstream News Gazette
Letters to the Editor
Langford grow-op spells trouble for tenant, homeowner
By Edward Hill - Goldstream News Gazette
Published: August 05, 2010 3:00 PM
Updated: August 05, 2010 4:20 PM
A small pot harvest has left a 22-year-old Langford a man without a home and the homeowner with a repair headache.
The West Shore RCMP street crime unit raided a basement suite of a home in the 1000-block of Shaw Avenue on Aug. 3 and seized 1.5 kilograms of bud marijuana, 2 kg of “shake” marijuana (leftover seeds, leaves and twigs), 132 grams of magic mushrooms, scales and cash.
RCMP also found evidence of a previously harvested grow-op capable of cultivating about 60 plants. No weapons were found, police said.
Three men were arrested, but two were released without charges. The 22-year-old man faces charges of possession for trafficking and production of a controlled substance. He is due in court on Sept. 30.
Under Langford’s nuisance bylaw, the City has cancelled the suite’s occupancy permit until the homeowner can prove the unit meets health and safety requirements of the building code. The homeowner also faces paying for emergency services and city staff time dealing with the grow-op.
Langford senior bylaw officer Lorne Fletcher said the grow-op appeared relatively unsophisticated and the level of damage to the suite appears minimal. Mould could be a concern, but there was little in the way of external venting or dangerous re-wiring typical in larger marijuana operations.
“It looks like a recent setup. There’s no evidence of any level of sophistication,” Fletcher said. “It was caught early so potential damage to the property was relatively low. The ultimate cost-recovery may not be substantial in this instance.”
In the past two years, a handful of Langford homeowners have been issued bills for tens of thousands of dollars under the nuisance bylaw, due to large, sophisticated grow-ops.
People with information suspicious activity in their neighbourhood are encouraged to call West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).